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Canal du Midi

Canal du Midi

This 360-km network of navigable waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures (locks, aqueducts, bridges, tunnels, etc.) is one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering in modern times. Built between 1667 and 1694, it paved the way for the Industrial Revolution. The care that its creator, Pierre-Paul Riquet, took in the design and the way it blends with its surroundings turned a technical achievement into a work of art.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Canal du Midi

Avec ses 360 km navigables assurant la liaison entre la Méditerranée et l'Atlantique et ses 328 ouvrages (écluses, aqueducs, ponts, tunnels, etc) le réseau du canal du Midi, réalisé entre 1667 et 1694, constitue l'une des réalisations de génie civil les plus extraordinaires de l'ère moderne, qui ouvrit la voie à la révolution industrielle. Le souci de l'esthétique architecturale et des paysages créés qui anima son concepteur, Pierre-Paul Riquet, en fit non seulement une prouesse technique, mais aussi une œuvre d'art.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

قناة ميدي

إنّ شبكة قناة ميدي التي تمتد على مساحة 360 كيلومتراً للملاحة تؤمن التواصل ما بين البحر المتوسط ولمحيط االأطلسي فيهاو328 منشأة بين هويسات القناة، وقنوات مياه، وجسور، وأنفاق، والتي تمّ وضعها بين عامي 1667 و1694. و تشكّل القناة إحدى أبرز وألمع الإنجازات التي حققتها الهندسة المدنية في العصر الحالي، ومهدت الطريق أمام الثورة الصناعية. لم يكن عمل بيير-بول ريكيه الذي حمل همَّ التجميل الهندسي واللوحات الطبيعية المبتكرة ذا إقدام تقني فحسب، بل كان أيضا ابتكارا فنيا لا مثيل له.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

米迪运河

运河总长360公里,各类船只通过运河在地中海和大西洋间穿梭往来,整个航运水系涵盖了船闸、沟渠、桥梁、隧道等328个大小不等的人工建筑,创造了世界现代史上最辉煌的土木工程奇迹。运河建于1667年至1694年之间,为工业革命开辟了道路。运河设计师皮埃尔-保罗·德里凯(Pierre-Paul Riquet)在设计上独具匠心,使运河与周边环境融为了一体,实现了技术上的突破,堪称建筑佳作。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Каналь-Дю-Миди (Южный канал)

Благодаря 328 шлюзам, акведукам, мостам, и туннелям, эта 360-километровая сеть предназначенных для судоходства водных путей, соединяющих Средиземноморье с Атлантикой, является одним из самых замечательных шедевров гражданской инженерии Нового времени. Построенный в 1667-1694 гг., канал открыл дорогу промышленной революции. Внимание, которое его создатель, Пьер-Поль Рике, уделил дизайну и обеспечению гармонии с окружением, превратили это техническое сооружение в настоящее произведение искусства.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Canal del Midi

Construida entre 1667 y 1694, esta red de 360 km de canales navegables enlaza el Mediterráneo y el Atlántico gracias a 328 obras de ingeniería diversas: esclusas, acueductos, puentes, túneles, etc. Es una de las realizaciones de la ingeniería civil más extraordinarias de la era moderna, precursora de la Revolución Industrial. El interés por la estética arquitectónica y paisajística que animó al autor del proyecto, Pierre-Paul Riquet, hizo de este canal una proeza técnica y una auténtica obra de arte.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

ミディ運河
地中海と大西洋を結ぶ航行可能な360kmにおよぶ水路網。328もの水門や橋、隧道(ずいどう)などがある。1667~1694年にかけて造られたこの運河は、見事な非軍事的偉業であり、単なる技術的事績を芸術作品にまで高めたといえる。

source: NFUAJ

Canal du Midi

Canal du Midi is een uitzonderlijk voorbeeld van een ontworpen landschap. Het 360 kilometer lange netwerk van bevaarbare waterwegen, is een van de meest opmerkelijke prestaties van civiele techniek in de moderne tijd. Het verbindt de Middellandse Zee en de Atlantische Oceaan door middel van 328 bouwwerken zoals sluizen, aquaducten, bruggen en tunnels. Tussen 1667 en 1694 werd het aangelegd en maakte de weg vrij voor de Industriële Revolutie. De zorg die de maker van het Canal – Pierre-Paul Riquet – besteedde aan zijn ontwerp en de manier waarop het een eenheid vormt met zijn omgeving, maakten van een technische prestatie een kunstwerk.

Source: unesco.nl

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Canal du Midi (France) © Editions Gelbart
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Located in the Occitan region, the Canal du Midi has 360 navigable kilometers and 328 structures (locks, aqueducts, bridges, spillways, tunnels, etc.). This civil engineering achievement, amongst the most extraordinary of the modern era, built between 1667 and 1694, paved the way for the Industrial Revolution. The concern for architectural aesthetics and man-made landscapes that inspired its designer, Pierre-Paul Riquet, made it not only a technical feat, but also a work of art.

The Canal du Midi is the initial part of the Deux-Mers Canal project which aimed to link the Mediterranean and the Atlantic by connecting several sections of waterways. It is the living testimony of the art and creativity of the engineers of the time of Louis XIV who triumphed over the difficult conditions of geography and hydrography to realize the immemorial dream of the "junction of the seas". Its wide-ranging technical and cultural impact inaugurated and influenced the modern era of creating navigable networks across the industrialized countries of Europe and North America.

The Canal du Midi has five elements, namely the main section that connects Toulouse (Haute-Garonne) to Étang de Thau at Marseillan along the Mediterranean coast  (Hérault) over a length of 240 km; the 36.6 km section between Moussan and Port-la-Nouvelle (Aude) which incorporates part of the former Canal de la Robine; the two branches that merge and flow into the canal at Naurouze (Aude) discharging the waters of the Montagne Noire; the Saint-Pierre Canal (1.6 km) which connects the main section of the Canal with the Garonne in Toulouse; the short section (0.5 km) that joins the Hérault to the round lock at Agde. One of the most remarkable features is the Saint-Ferréol dam on the Laudot River in the Montagne Noire region. It is the largest work of the entire canal and the most important civil engineering site of the time.

Criterion (i): The Canal du Midi is one of the most extraordinary civil engineering achievements of modern times.

Criterion (ii): The Canal du Midi is representative of the technological breakthrough that paved the way for the Industrial Revolution and contemporary technology. In addition, it associates technological innovation with great aesthetic concern in terms of architecture and in terms of man-made landscapes, an approach rarely found elsewhere.

Criterion (iv): The Canal du Midi is notable as the first major summit level canal built to meet a strategic territorial development objective. It represents, par excellence, a significant period of European history, that of river transport through the mastery of hydraulic civil engineering.

Criterion (v): As soon as it was built, the Canal du Midi became the most striking feature of the territory through which it ran, all the more integrated into the environment as it gently modelled the landscape.

Integrity

The Canal du Midi is still in operation with characteristics essentially unchanged since its creation. The numerous modifications that it has undergone over the centuries (initial adaptation to the Freycinet gauge, repairs, automation, crossings, modernization, etc.) have affected the civil engineering works but without threatening their uniqueness or heritage value.

However, the aging and dieback of the alignment plantations, particularly due to the contamination of plane trees by coloured canker, will inevitably greatly change the landscapes of the Canal du Midi in the coming years.

Authenticity

The engineering work of Pierre-Paul Riquet, designer and builder of the canal, is intact in its layout, in its water supply system, and in many of the structures. However, from the beginning of the 18th century, modifications and adaptations (in particular the work of Vauban), then reconstructions of structures and modernizations, caused the canal to evolve to improve its efficiency.

Riquet's work is ever present, and neither its significance nor its historical magnitude have been altered. The changes themselves have their own authenticity and value, as they reflect the evolution of engineering, applied technology, and canal management practices.

Management and protection requirements

The protection and enhancement of the structure are ensured by regulatory measures at the national level (under the Heritage Code and the Environmental Code). The Canal is protected as a listed site, and some of its elements are also protected as historic monuments. In addition, the surrounding areas of the canal are now protected, by their listing as landscape sites of the Canal du Midi, an area of ​​18,200 ha, concerning 74 urban and peri-urban communities. Listing procedures are still ongoing for the landscapes of the feed canals in order to complete the protection system around the property, in view of a new delimitation of the buffer zone.

The State, owner of the property, has entrusted the conservation and management to Voies navigables de France (VNF), a public institution under its supervision, which implements the necessary resources for this purpose.

The Prefect of the Occitanie region is responsible for coordinating the State services involved in the management of the site with VNF. A "Landscape and Architectural Integration Charter" sets out general guidelines that will form the basis of the management plan currently being drawn up. In parallel, contracts officialize local partnerships.

Finally, to respond to the massive degradation of the alignment plantations, the manager implements with the public authorities a global approach to conservation and restoration in the respect of the canal's landscape features, aiming in particular at limiting the spread of the colored canker and eventually restoring the alignments of trees along the banks.