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The Canal du Midi was the first major canal construction in Europe. It was inspired by the remarkable Pierre Paul Riquet, and built by a young engineer, Francois Andreossy in the late 1670s.

It predated the works of James Brindley by 100 years or so. This early canal was no minor project. It created a through passage for 150 tonne barges between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, passing through the foothills of the Pyrenees. To obtain a water supply, they had to build what was then the World's largest dam over 20 kilometres away in the Montagne Noir.

Today, the Canal has the status of a World Heritage site. It's enjoyed by thousands of visitors who experience boating in almost guaranteed hot sunshine. This video tells the remarkable story of the construction of the canal, it's triumphs and it's setbacks, woven around a modern day journey from Sete on the Mediterranean coast, right the way over to Toulouse.

For extra measure, the programme takes you across to Montech on the Canal Lateral a la Garonne to show you a working example of a water-slope. It's an amazing device for pushing boats up or down hill on a moving wedge of water trapped in a sloping channel.

This programme is already a collectors' item.

DVD Info

Region: 2
Running Time: 74 minutes

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