Sep 16, 2008

The Corinth Canal

The Corinth Canal is a 6.3 km long canal, that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It intersects the Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland. The minimum width of the canal at sea level is 24.6m. And it's bottom width is 21m at 8 metres of water. It saves about 400 km long journey around the Peloponnesus for smaller ships.

The first attempt to build this canal was made in 7th century BC by the tyrant Periander. But, due to technical difficulties, he abandoned the project with construction of a simple overland portage road, named Diolkos. Then, Diadoch Demetrius, Roman dictator Julius Caesar as well as Roman Emperor Nero, tried to construct the canal during different period.

The modern attempt at construction began in the 1870's following the successful opening of the Suez Canal. And a Greek company led by Andreas Syngros completed the construction of Corinth Canal in 1893.

The canal is nowadays mostly used by tourist ships and a toll fee is charges based on the vessel's flag, type, port of origin, previous and next port and net tonnage. On average, about 11,000 ships uses this narrow waterway every year.


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