Briare aqueduct Pont-canal de Briare, Briare

4.7
#1 of 8 in Things to do in Briare
Historic Walking Area · Tourist Spot
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The Canal de Briare is one of the oldest canals in France. It is the first summit level canal in Europe that was built using pound locks, connecting the Loire and Seine valleys. It is 57km long and is part of the Bourbonnais route from Saint-Mammès on the Seine to Chalon-sur-Saône on the Saône River.
From Briare to Buges, the canal rises through the first 12 locks some 41m and then falls 85m through the remaining 24 locks.
The canal was initiated by Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully, with support from Henry IV in order to develop the grain trade, and to reduce food shortages. Its construction started in 1604 and was completed in 1642. Between 6,000 and 12,000 labourers worked on this canal which connects the basins of the River Loire and the River Seine. Hugues Cosnier obtained the contract to build the second canal crossing a watershed in Europe, involving many more locks than on the first" It was thus necessary to use locks. A staircase of seven locks was built in Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses. (This was bypassed in 1887 but is preserved as an ancient monument and floodlit at night.)
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Briare aqueduct Pont-canal de Briare reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
576 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Lovely walk across good views, lots of parking and places to eat. Very pretty and amazing building achievements. Shame boats weren’t going 
    Lovely walk across good views, lots of parking and places to eat. Very pretty and amazing building achievements. Shame boats weren’t going  more »
  • Well worth a visit to take the opportunity to look across the loire, municipal campsite within easy walking distance along the banks of the river. 
    Well worth a visit to take the opportunity to look across the loire, municipal campsite within easy walking distance along the banks of the river.  more »
Google
  • An extraordinary feat of engineering. We enjoyed riding our bikes across the viaduct using the Loire à Velo path but plenty of people were walking too.
  • One of a kind piece of infrastructure. More than 600 meters of a metal acqueduct that takes a canal from one bank of the Loire river to another. First time I see such a thing. Unfortunately, we could not see any boat crossing the bridge but it was already great.

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