Augustow Canal

Date of Submission: 30/01/2004
Criteria: (i)(ii)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Délégation Permanente de la République de Bélarus auprès de l'UNESCO
Ref.: 1892
Word File

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The project for the construction of the Augustow Canal, whose Belarusian part is situated in the territory of the present-day Hrodna Rayon, was initiated in early 19th century. It was designed for exporting grain and presumably timber to Baltic ports bypassing the territory of Eastern Prussia, which introduced excessively high taxes on goods shipped up the rivers Vistula and Nieman to the Baltic Sea ports.

Military engineer Lieutenant-Colonel Prondzinsky was invited to develop the project. The construction of the canal was completed in 1839 under the supervision of the civil engineer T. Urbansky. Economically, the canal did not meet the expectations however it was largely used until 1939 to float round timber within the region.

- The Vaukushak lock was constructed in 1829 under the supervision of Lieutenant Korchakovsky and is situated at the 85th km of the canal, 3.15 km from the borderline lock.

- The Dambruwka lock was constructed in 1829 under the supervision of Captain Arnold, and is situated at the 91.5th km of the canal. The lock has remained in its original form with the footing of a drawbridge, a place now occupied by a wooden bridge. In the village of Chartok there was a dam at the 94.6th km of the canal which regulated water flow in the river Chornaya Hancha.

- The Nemnava lock was constructed in 1829 under the supervision of Ian Pavel Lelevel. It is the last largest lock (3 chambers, 43.5 km) of the Auhustousky Canal, situated at the 101 km. Today, its wooden gates and chambers need repairing.

After the Nemnava lock the canal flows into the river Nieman.

Practically the entire Belarusian part of the canal, from the state border to the river Nieman, is located in the valley of the river Chornaya Hancha, with the Augustow Canal partially using its river-bed in the territory of Belarus.