Canal Latéral de la Garonne
The Canal de Garonne known as Canal latéral à la Garonne, is a French canal dating from the mid-19th century which connects Toulouse to Castets-en-Dorthe. The remainder of the route to Bordeaux uses the river Garonne, it is the continuation of the Canal du Midi. Together they and the Garonne form the Canal des Deux Mers which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean; the canal runs along the right bank of the Garonne, crosses the river in Agen via the Agen aqueduct continues along the left bank. It is connected to the Canal du Midi at its source in Toulouse, emerges at Castets-en-Dorthe on the Garonne, 54 km southwest of Bordeaux, a point where the river is navigable; the canal is supplied with water from the Garonne by two sources: The Canal de Brienne in Toulouse, taking up to 7 m3/s from the river Garonne upstream of Bazacle dam The Brax pumping station near Agen. With the exception of the five locks at Montech, bypassed by the water slope, all of the locks have a length of 40.5m and a width of 6m.
The locks at Montech are as built, 30.65m long. More than 100 bridges were built on the canal. Many were rebuilt in 1933 as prestressed concrete bow bridges, to allow for the requirements of larger barges; the canal has a width of 18 meters at the water level. It has 53 locks, with a total difference in level of 128 meters, its design depth is 2.00 metres, for a draught of 1.80 metres. The minimum headroom beneath bridges and other structures is 3.60 metres. The Canal de Garonne was considered a possibility from ancient times. Before the Canal du Midi was constructed, the passage between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea was along the Spanish Atlantic coast and through the Strait of Gibraltar; this route, more than 3,000 kilometers long, subjected sailors to the risks of attack and storms. Nero and Augustus in ancient times Charlemagne, Francis I of France, Charles IX of France, Henry IV of France were all interested in constructing a canal which avoided the passage around Spain, they asked for the idea to be studied and many projects resulted.
The primary difficulty was in supplying sufficient water at the watershed between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic to ensure continuous navigation. Between 1614 and 1662, under the influence of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, five projects were born but none solved the water supply problem. In 1662 Pierre-Paul Riquet sought to bring water to the area which would become the canal du Midi, at a watershed near Seuil de Naurouze, where water flows both to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, he was inspired by the theories of Adam de Craponne which were put into practice at the beginning of the same century by Hugues Cosnier for the "canal de Loyre en Seyne". Riquet's knowledge of the Montagne Noire and its watercourses led him to imagine a provisioning system based on the diversion of water from many streams and rivers. While this enabled boats to cross the watershed, they still had to use the Garonne to reach the ocean and this presented more problems with floods and groundings as the size of cargo boats increased.
It is said that when Pierre-Paul Riquet built the Canal Royal du Languedoc between Sète and Toulouse from 1667-1681 he envisaged continuing the canal closer to the Atlantic: the future Canal Latéral à la Garonne. However successive enlargements of the Château de Versailles and the poor finances of Louis XIV emptied the kingdom's coffers and the project never materialised. For two centuries people had to be content with navigating the Garonne, it was not until 1828 that a new survey was ordered, a survey completed in 1830. This was during France's industrial revolution and it was vital for its development that better methods of transporting raw materials be created. While this was the purpose of the Becquey plan of 1821 to 1822, it was only in 1832 that the state granted the concession in perpetuity to the private Magendie-Sion company, owned by Sieur Doin; the act allowing the construction of the Canal Latéral à la Garonne envisioned the provision of water from the Garonne utilising the Canal de Saint-Pierre or the Canal de Brienne.
However, Sieur Doin did not agree with these commitments. Sieur Doin died. A third act in 1838 allocated a sum of 100,000 francs to the heirs of Sieur Dion and repurchased parts of the project for 150,000 francs; the project was taken back by the state, the divisionary inspector of Bridges and Roads Jean-Baptiste de Baudre was placed in charge, work started in 1838 with a budget of forty million francs. Construction began at several points with thousands of workmen building the 193 kilometres of canal and remarkable structures such as the famous Agen aqueduct. In 1844, the section from Toulouse to Montech to Montauban was opened; the canal was open for navigation to Buzet-sur-Baïse in 1853 and upstream by 1856. The canal was completed at the same time as the Bordeaux to Sète railway, which followed the same route; the first trains left Agen station in 1857. At first the railway did not compete with water transport but the state conceded the canal's exploitation rights to the Compagnie des chemins de fer du Midi, the direct competitor of the boatmen.
The railway company increased levies on water transport such that by the time the concession was withdrawn in 1898 the damage had been done: between 1850 and 1893, water freight diminished by two thirds. However, until about 1970, the Canal Lat
The Dordogne is a river in south-central and southwest France. The Dordogne and its watershed were designated Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO on July 11 2012; the river rises on the flanks of the Puy de Sancy at 1,885 metres above sea level in the mountains of Auvergne, from the confluence of two small torrents above the town of Le Mont-Dore: the Dore and the Dogne. It flows west about 500 kilometres through the Limousin and Périgord regions before flowing into the Gironde, its common estuary with the Garonne, at the Bec d'Ambès, north of the city of Bordeaux; the Dordogne is one of the few rivers in the world that exhibit the phenomenon of a tidal bore, known as a mascaret. The upper valley of the Dordogne is a series of deep gorges; the cliffs, steep banks, fast flowing water and high bridges attract both drivers. In several places the river is dammed to form deep lakes. Camp sites and holiday homes have proliferated wherever the valley floor is wide enough to accommodate them. Below Argentat and around Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, the valley widens to accommodate fertile farmland, well-watered pasture and orchards.
In the towns, which are major tourist attractions because of their history and architecture, the quaysides are lined with eating and drinking places. In Périgord, the valley widens further to encompass one of France's main gastronomic regions, with vineyards, poultry farms and truffle-rich woodlands; the main season for tourism in the Valley of the Dordogne is from June to September, with July and August being high season. The lifestyle and culture of the Dordogne valley attract both visitors and incomers from all over France, but from many other countries Britain and Germany; the départements of France through which the Dordogne runs, together with some towns in those départements that are on or quite near the river, are as follows: The département of Puy-de-Dôme – The towns of Le Mont-Dore and La Bourboule. Main tributaries from source to mouth: Chavanon. N. B.: = right tributary. The Dordogne at the Sandre database The Dordogne Valley in the Lot department The Dordogne Valley UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
The Garonne is a river in southwest France and northern Spain, with a length of 602 kilometres. It flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Bordeaux; the name derives from Garumna, a Latinized version of the Aquitanian name meaning "stony river". The Garonne's headwaters are to be found in the Aran Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees, though three different locations have been proposed as the true source: the Uelh deth Garona at Plan de Beret, the Ratera-Saboredo cirque 42°36′26″N 0°57′56″E), or the slopes of Pic Aneto; the Uelh deth Garona at 1,862 metres above sea level has been traditionally considered as the source of the Garonne. From this point a brook runs for 2.5 kilometres until the bed of the main upper Garonne valley. The river runs for another 38 kilometres until the French border at Pont de Rei, 40.5 kilometres in total. The Ratera-Saboredo cirque is the head of the upper Garonne valley, its upper lake at 2,600 metres above sea level is the origin of the Ruda-Garona river, running for 16 kilometres until the confluence with the Beret-Garona brook, another 38 kilometres until the French border at Pont del Rei, 54 kilometres in total.
At the confluence, the Ruda-Garona carries 2.6 cubic metres per second of water. The Ratera-Saboredo cirque has been pointed by many researchers as the origin of the Garonne; the third thesis holds that the river rises on the slopes of Pic Aneto at 2,300 metres above sea level and flows by way of a sinkhole known as the Forau de Aigualluts through the limestone of the Tuca Blanca de Pomèro and a resurgence in the Val dera Artiga above the Aran Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees. This underground route was suggested by the geologist Ramond de Carbonnières in 1787, but there was no confirmation until 1931, when caver Norbert Casteret poured fluorescein dye into the flow and noted its emergence a few hours 4 kilometres away at Uelhs deth Joèu in the Artiga de Lin on the other side of the mountain. From Aigualluts to the confluence with the main river at the bed of the upper Garonne valley at 800 metres above sea level, the Joèu has run for 12.4 kilometres, carrying 2.16 cubic metres per second of water, while the main river is carrying 17.7 cubic metres per second.
Despite the lack of universal agreement upon definition for determining a stream's source, the United States Geological Survey, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution agree that a stream's source should be considered as the most distant point in the drainage basin from which water runs. The Ratera-Saboredo cirque is the "most distant point in the drainage basin from which water runs", the source of the Garonne, according to the United States Geological Survey, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution convention upon determining a stream's source; the Garonne follows the Aran Valley northwards into France, flowing via Toulouse and Agen towards Bordeaux, where it meets the Gironde estuary. The Gironde flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Along its course, the Garonne is joined by three other major rivers: the Ariège, the Tarn, the Lot. Just after Bordeaux, the Garonne meets the Dordogne at the Bec d'Ambès, forming the Gironde estuary, which after 100 kilometres empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
Other tributaries include the Gers. The Garonne is one of the few rivers in the world. Surfers and jet skiers could ride the tidal bore at least as far as the village of Cambes, 120 kilometres or 75 miles from the Atlantic, further upstream to Cadillac, although the tidal bore appears and disappears in response to changes in the channel bathymetry. In 2010 and 2012, some detailed field studies were conducted in the Garonne's Arcins channel between Arcins Island and the right bank close to Lastrene township. A striking feature of the field data sets was the large and rapid fluctuations in turbulent velocities and turbulent stresses during the tidal bore and flood flow; the European sea sturgeon known as the Atlantic sturgeon or common sturgeon, is now a Critically Endangered species status. This species of sturgeon that can reach a length of 6 m and weigh 400 kg and can reach an age of 100 year Previously found on most coasts of Europe, it has now become so rare that they ONLY breed in the Garonne river basin in France.
Conservation projects are under way to save this fish from extinction with species reintroduction from aquaculture with the first releases being made in 1995. Aran Valley: Vielha, Bossòst Haute-Garonne: Saint-Gaudens, Toulouse Tarn-et-Garonne: Castelsarrasin Lot-et-Garonne: Agen, Aiguillon Gironde: Langon, Bordeaux Following the flow of the river: The Garonne plays an important role in inland shipping; the river not only allows seagoing vessels to reach the port of Bordeaux but forms part of the Canal des Deux Mers, linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. From the ocean, ships pass through the Gironde estuary up to the mouth of the Garonne. Ships continue on the tidal river Garonne up to the Pont de Pierre in Bordeaux. Inland vessels continue upstream to Castets-en-Dor
The Gironde is a navigable estuary, in southwest France and is formed from the meeting of the rivers Dordogne and Garonne just downstream of the centre of Bordeaux. Covering around 635 km2, it is the largest estuary in western Europe; the Gironde is 80 km long and 3–11 km wide and the French département Gironde is named after it. The Gironde is subject to strong tidal currents and great care is needed when navigating the estuary by any size or type of boat. In December 1942, during the Second World War, Operation Frankton took place with the goal of destroying shipping moored at the docks in Bordeaux; these German blockade runners were causing havoc in the Western approaches. The raid was carried out by a small unit of Royal Marines known as the Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment, part of Combined Operations, led by Herbert'Blondie' Hasler. Within the estuary between the Pointe de Grave at the seaward end and the Bec d'Ambès are a series of small islands; the Île de Patiras is 200 ha in size with a lighthouse to aid navigation in the estuary.
Vines and maize are grown there. The Île Sans-Pain and Île Bouchaud are now joined due to progressive silting and are referred to as the Ile Nouvelle, they total about 265 ha and are owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral and managed by the Department of the Gironde. The Île Paté is about 13 ha and in 2006 was owned; the island has a historic fort built between 1685 and 1693 as part of the national fortification program masterminded by Vauban. The building is oval in shape, about 12 metres high and was equipped with about 30 cannon. Fort Paté, together with Fort Médoc and the ancient citadelle of Blaye, defended the estuary and Bordeaux. During the French Revolution the fort was used as a prison for priests. In 2006, the Conseil General decided to make the island a ZPENS. ZPENS status protects the island from development. If the owner wishes to sell the island the Department has a pre-emptive right. After two months the Conservatoire National du Littoral has the next pre-emptive right and after another 2 months the town of Blaye has a final pre-emptive right to acquire the island.
The Île Verte, Île du Nord and Île Cazeau comprise about 800 ha and because of their natural state provide a fine stopping off place for migrating birds. The Île Margaux is 25 ha and in 2005 had 14 ha devoted to vines and is part of the world famous Médoc wine region; the information relating to the protected status of Île Paté and the general information relating to the other islands is public domain information, summarised as part of an article in the regional'Sud Ouest' newspaper dated 3 October 2006
Castets-en-Dorthe is a former commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Castillon; the village lies at the junction of the Canal de Garonne with the River Garonne. Communes of the Gironde department Official site
Canal du Rhône à Sète
The Canal du Rhône à Sète is a canal in southern France, which connects the Étang de Thau in Sète to the Rhône River in Beaucaire, Gard. The canal is made up of two constructed canals, the Canal des Étangs and Canal de Beaucaire, it connects with the Canal du Midi through the Étang de Thau. There is, however. Access is via the lock situated to the west of Saint-Gilles which links the canal to the Petit Rhône and from there northeastwards to the junction with the Grand Rhône at Fourques situated to the north of Arles. Apart from the lock at Saint-Gilles there is only one other operating lock on the canal between St Gilles and Beaucaire; the canal is totally situated at sea-level and the western part from the Vidourle river to the Étang de Thau is a sea-water canal. In recent years major work has been undertaken to upgrade the canal so it can now be used by 1200t convoys instead of the previous 350t barges. Most notable are a stretch of canal bypassing the town of Aigues-Mortes with its railway swing bridge and a direct canal link to the port of Sète eliminating the passage of lifting and swing bridges in Frontignan and Sète.
PK 0 Beaucaire PK 13.5 Bellegarde PK 24.5 Saint-Gilles PK 29 Junction with Canal de Saint-Gilles and Petit-Rhône PK 51 Aigues-Mortes, junction with Canal maritime to Le Grau-du-Roi PK 61.5 Grande Motte PK 70.5 Pérols PK 75.5 Palavas-les-Flots, junction with river Lez, access to Port Ariane for Montpellier and to the Mediterranean Sea PK 79 Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone PK 82 Vic-la-Gardiole PK 92-93 Frontignan, junction with high-capacity branch canal to the port of Sète PK 98-100 Sète List of canals in France Canal du Rhône à Sète and Étang de Thau, with maps and details of places and moorings by the author of Inland Waterways of France, Imray Navigation details for 80 French rivers and canals