Canal du Midi at Toulouse!!!

I will take you south deep cathar country and home of family on wifes side. We have been here many many times and have posts on several locations ,however, most have been brief comments of the sights to see. I think they deserve more so will do several posts on the things to see and we like in the pink city of Toulouse! The city is in the Haute Garonne department 31 of the region of Occitanie. Hope you enjoy the series.

The Canal du Midi is a dandy a must to visit anywhere along its course. I have followed it by car, and stops in some towns but the most for us is of course Toulouse! Enjoy it

You go along the Garonne river to the quays and wharfs renovated in the 18C such as quai Henri-Martin and quai de Tounis built in brick to hold on the flooding and allowing to walk the banks of the river to discovered the old bridges such as the Pont Neuf, the oldest in Toulouse with 220 meters long and the Pont Saint Pierre a metallic bridge done in 1987. It connects the place Saint-Pierre with the hospice of the Grave. It is a bridge with a steel deck, completely rebuilt in 1987. The first Pont Saint-Pierre was built between 1849 and 1852. It was a wooden bridge, toll, where pedestrians and carriages passed. It rested on two stacks of stone and brick, and was reinforced by wire ropes.

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A bit down the Garonne river you will see the Bazacle, where the first inhabitants of Toulouse were installed and today it is a dam to keep the water level of the Garonne in balance during the Summers

It is at the level of the current port de l’Embouchure that the first stone of the lock of Garonne (disappeared) is posed in 1667. It marks the beginning of the construction of the Canal du Midi and the realization of the first section between Toulouse and Castelnaudary. The Canal then extends to Sète and the pond of Thau. It is finished and “put in water” in 1681.

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In the 18C, to avoid boats the dangerous passage of the pavement of the Bazacle mill, the Brienne canal is dug and joins the Canal du Midi at its mouth. Two twin bridges mark access to the waterways. This important linear element includes patrimonial elements, often unknown, distributed along the water. They illustrate many aspects of the Canal’s history: locks and lock houses, bridges and footbridges, historic ports and old buildings linked to Canal operations. To this set are added exceptional places to discover like the Ponts-Jumeaux bas-relief, the Saint-Pierre lock, the Canal Archives or the dry dock.

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The Canal du Midi is a navigation channel with a dividing line that connects Toulouse to the Mediterranean Sea since the 17C. First called “Royal Canal of Languedoc”, the French revolutionaries renamed it in 1789 “Canal du Midi”. From the 19C, the side channel to the Garonne, which doubles the Garonne of Bordeaux in Toulouse, extends the Canal du Midi to provide a waterway from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea: the two channels are called  Canal des Deux-Mers or canal of the two seas.

What is good in this area,by the banks of the canal, is that you can bicycle in the shade of plane trees. A real luxury!  One can also dream of a longer, more distant and slower ride along the many barges moored there, whether they are home to commercial activities or that families have made their home there. You can of course leave Toulouse, the channel passes over the locks; but where stop? In Ramonville, for a break at the Bikini, Castelnaudary to see if the cassoulet is really different?  in Carcassonne? or Sète on the Mediterranean, 241 km from Toulouse.

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In all a wonderful experience with nature and history as well as some engineering feats one of the best of mankind. Enjoy the Canal du Midi!!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here which is a must are

Canal du Midi on the ports and history

Canal du Midi on channels and gardens in Toulouse

There you go another dandy in my belle France, and lovely territory of many memories from and with the family over the years. Again, very nice area ,hope you enjoy the series posts to come on Toulouse, the pink city!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Canal du Midi at Toulouse!!!”

  1. This is such an amazing feat of engineering! It is beautiful from beginning to end and we love seeing all the holiday makers on ‘Le Boat’ cruising backwards and forwards. A must for anyone visiting France. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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