Corinth Canal

Corinth Canal  was opened in1893

This amazing feat of engineering especially considering that it was entirely dug by hand. If one subscribes to the idea that everything should be either useful or beautiful then the Corinth Canal scores on both points as it is not only useful but it also has a grace about it and has become a compelling landmark that people love to see and to traverse, quite apart from its usefulness in reducing a voyage by around 60 – 70 nm.

Its construction was carried out by thousands of men. Depending on the source consulted these may have been Pakistani, Irish or possibly Greek though many were almost certainly there through enforced labour rather than being employed and paid. As you can imagine this was dangerous work and there were a number of deaths during the entire process. It is possible to see, etched into the rocky walls, signs of the hand carving of the rock as no surface is completely smooth.

Passing through the canal, one cannot but help to be moved by the enormity of the task faced by those men.

Many vessels like to have their journey through the canal recorded by engaging a photographer to capture the moment for them.

The canal consists of a single channel which means that each direction is open to traffic for a short period each hour and every Tuesday there is planned maintenance taking place which limits or stops through- traffic for some hours.

The canal is crossed by a railway line, a road and a motorway at a height of about 45 metres (148 ft). In 1988 submersible bridges were installed at sea level at each end of the canal.


Some Corinth Canal statistics;

6,346 metres (20,820 ft) long

8 metres (26 ft) deep

The Rock walls which rise 90 metres (300 ft) above sea level were built at an 80° angle,

24.6 metres (81 ft) wide at the top

21.3 metres (70 ft) wide at the bottom


Around 11,000 boats per year use the canal, many being pleasure vessels as the increasing size of modern-day boats means that the canal can accommodate fewer and fewer of the larger of them.

The Corinth Canal is not just convenient but is an amazing feat of engineering which had been planned from ancient times by many different leaders.
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