Nantes Brest Canal

The Canal de Nantes à Brest is a canal which links the two cities of Nantes and Brest through inland Brittany. It was built during the 19th century and its total length is 364 km (from the Aulne at Landeleau to the Erdre at Nort-sur-Erdre), with 328 locks along its path.

  • History

The original idea of such a canal is dated from the 16th century but it's only when Brest was blocaded by the English fleet that Napoleon I of France decided to build this canal to assure a safe inland link between the two largest military ports of the French Atlantic front. Building started in 1811 and the inauguration by Napoleon III of France was celebrated in 1858.

Since 1923, the canal is interrupted by the Guerledan dam. Navigation is no longer possible between Maël-Carhaix and Pontivy.

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