• The heritage of the Canal
• Towns. It’s also the starting point for a walk along the Midi Canal as it winds its way south-east through a number of French country villages, towns and cities, reaching Carcassonne and its beautifully preserved medieval city some hundred kilometres (60 … This little village was founded by a retired Roman soldier around 300 AD. It is astonishing to think that the Canal du Midi is around 350 years old, having been authorised by King Louis XIV in October 1666, with the aim of developing the wheat trade, with construction from 1666 to 1681. With the development of the canal goes that of bridges to cross it, their construction was supported by the States of Languedoc. In 1789, it was completely rebuilt with a new abutment built in rubble and an interior facing in cut stone from Nissan, some old elements were preserved and repaired. For the first time in history, we are making a navigable canal pass under a “mountain”! Our base at Bram is in an ideal spot to hire a boat on the Canal du Midi, just a few kilometres from Castelnaudary, famed for its cuisine, especially cassoulet (duck confit with beans).As you cruise towards the Mediterranean, you can easily get to Carcassonne. Long ago, the sea came to the foot of the village of Capestang, whose name means "Cape of the pond". When first built, the Canal du Midi by-passed Carcassonne (the cost of going though the town was more than the town, impoverished by plague, could bear) and this is where that old canal emerged. The Canal du Midi was the result of the vision of one man, Pierre-Paul Riquet, who in 1662 wrote to Combert, minister of Louis XIV: “I am writing to you from Perpignan … about my plans for a canal which could be built in this province of Languedoc to connect the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean sea”. Capestang is notable for one of the lowest bridges on the Canal du Midi. A stone-arched bridge, le Pont de St-Marcel, built in the 17th century straddles the canal and an 18th century chapel, which started life as a granary, stands at one end. Sitting atop a rocky outcropping at the junction of the Cesse and Briant Rivers is Minerve, the ancient capital of Minervois, considered by many to be the quintessential medieval village. The town of Capestang whose name derives from “Cap de l’Etang” lies on the perimeter of the ancient Etang de Montady is home to the 12th century collegial church of St-Étienne and the Summer Residence of the Archbishops of Narbonne. Béziers is the capital of Languedoc’s wine industry and birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, who was responsible for building the Canal du Midi. Rising against the backdrop of the Pyrénée Mountains, the city is striking not only during the day but also at night, when it is floodlit. Twenty one memorable towns. It's up to you to play ! In a perfect Gothic style, the Saint-Etienne collegiate church in Capestang was built in the XNUMXth century on an old Romanesque church, probably by the same team that built the Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur cathedral in Narbonne. Minerve is famous for being the site of one of the most brutal sieges during the Albigensian Crusade in the early 13th century, and for the horrific acts imparted on the heretical group called the Cathars. It is sort of interesting to see the ingenuity of solar and wind power options on these ramshackle dwellings until you realize the sewage from each of these boats goes into the canal. Many naysayers told Riquet that the canal would not have sufficient water to operate but not only were they wrong but the canal has been operating since 1681. BC and the XNUMXst c. A.D. Its location offers a unique panorama and its museum is a must-see! Canal boats can be rented for a trip from Agde to Carcassonne or from Carcassonne to Agde. A real feat! Les péniches et les bateaux de plaisance descendent le canal et s’arrêtent régulièrement pour passer les écluses. Béziers was first settled by the Phoenicians and was an important Roman military post. One of the Midi’s prettiest villages, Le Somail grew up around the canal and is one of many designed and built by Pierre Paul Riquet to help with the commerce and lifestyle surrounding the waterway. Variety of architecture, witnesses of the rich wine history, but also of the beautiful days that the Languedoc vineyard has before it! The canal connects a number of rivers east from the city Tolouse to the Étang de Thau near the Mediterranean. The hilltop town of Béziers is the wine capital of Languedoc. They will be bypassed by dint of technical prowess! Narbonne was the first town outside of Italy to be colonized by the Romans and grew to be the second largest town in Gaul. By boat, you can of course dock to discover them! The Canal du Midi was an engineering marvel when it was finished in 1681. A Toulouse, on peut voir des péniches le long du canal : un mode de vie bohème choisi par certains citadins. In the small tourist town of Capestang or in the nearby charming village of Poilhes, the Canal du Midi leaves its mark on landscapes, villages and people. It is now eight miles inland. But this last section with significant elevations creates several difficulties. It has the particularity of having one of the lowest arches of the Canal bridges. They are an integral part of the landscape and the local terroir! Opposite the chapel, on the left bank of the canal, sits the old ice-house. The Cathédral St-Just is the tallest cathedral in southern France and is known for its beautiful stained glass and tapestries. Trèbes The Canal du Midi. Explore guest reviews and book the perfect place to stay for your trip. Béziers was first settled by the Phoenicians and was an … You must accept cookies to allow Google Maps to work. Arrived on his native land, Pierre-Paul Riquet decides to run his Canal on the embankment north of Capestang, a route that avoids the Lower Plain of the Aude floodable to the South and occupied by the pond. To do this, he had to overcome an obstacle: the hill of Ensérune. La Cité, or the medieval city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most iconic – and most visited – attractions in France. Jan 21, 2020 - Sail along the Canal du Midi, France, by traveling across a magical canal that connects the incredible waters of the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. 1912. It was its most famous son, Pierre Paul Riquet, whose vision led to the completion of the Canal du Midi, and his hometown is the centerpiece of the canal. An architectural jewel that history has left unfinished, its visit will leave you with vivid memories! It is sort of interesting to see the ingenuity of solar and wind power options on these ramshackle dwellings until you realize the sewage from each of these boats goes into the canal. At the end of the Middle Ages, the castle of the Archbishops of Narbonne in Capestang was a splendid residence that certain documents do not hesitate to qualify as a palace. In the small tourist town of Capestang or in the nearby charming village of Poilhes, the Canal du Midi leaves its mark on landscapes, villages and people. It runs for almost 250 kilometers from the Rhône to the Pyrenees. Located at Port de Capestang, the Pont de Saïsse, otherwise known as a "stone bridge" by the locals, is the work of architects Claude Colin and Pierre Launay. Today Narbonne has a well-restored medieval quarter. Once a coastal port, it prospered until the sea receded in the Middle Ages. Canal locks and a basin are located in front of the town's railway station (gare SNCF). Composed of a circle of towers and battlements, turrets and ramparts, with the longest city wall in Europe, Carcassonne is a perfectly restored medieval town. The canal bridges have evolved in their form and method of construction, Capestang offers several examples of these constructions. In the XVIIth century one finds the bridges of stone or brick in semicircular arch, the bridge of Saïsses constitutes an example. Today is traverses the Canal de la Robine and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Carcassonne: the Canal du Midi’s Captivating City Guests often wait with bated breath for the final destination on their cruise of the Canal du Midi: the impressive medieval citadel of Carcassonne. For those seeking an alternative destination in France, the historic, UNESCO World Heritage status Canal du Midi is perfect, with it’s with its fortified hilltop villages, walled cities, ever present towpath and little canal side villages. 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