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La Nouvelle branch: Map

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Canal de Jonction at Sallèles d'Aude
The La Nouvelle branch ( ) is a lateral branch of the Canal du Midimarker in Audemarker, south-central Francemarker which runs from the Canal du Midi through Narbonnemarker and on to the Mediterraneanmarker. It is composed of three waterways: the first is the Canal de Jonction from the Canal du Midi to the Audemarker, the second section is of the Aude itself and the third is the Canal de la Robine which enters the Mediterranean at Port-la-Nouvellemarker. The La Nouvelle branch is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Canal du Midi and is managed by the Frenchmarker navigation authority, Voies navigables de France.

Canal de Jonction

The Canal de Jonction runs in a dead straight line and was built in 1776 to provide access to Narbonne from the Canal du Midi via the Canal de la Robine. The Canal de Jonction enters the Aude some 800 m upstream from where the Canal de la Robine leaves it. Prior to 1776 the Canal du Midi port for Narbonne was Le Somailmarker, by road from the city centre.

Locks on the Canal de Jonction

Lock number Lock name Coordinates
(with links to maps and satellite images)
Number of chambers Distance from the Canal du Midi Image Elevation
km mi ft m
1 Cesse Lock 1
2 Truilhas Lock 1
3 Empare Lock 1
4 Argeliers Lock 1
5 Saint-Cyr Lock 1
6 Sallèles Lock 1
7 Gailhousty Lock 1


The Aude

Canal de Jonction meets the Aude
The Audemarker is only traversed for between the two canals however on leaving the Canal de Jonction it is necessary to navigate upstream first before turning and coming back downstream against the opposite bank to the Canal de la Robine in order to avoid shallows caused by silt banks in the middle of the channel.

Canal de la Robine

Following its opening in 1681, the commercial success of the Canal du Midi was such that Narbonne traders demanded improved access to it, so in 1686 the Canal de la Robine was constructed by Vauban as a lockless open cut following an abandoned course of the Aude. The northern end of the canal is at the Aude at Moussoulensmarker just south of Sallèles-d'Audemarker from where goods were transported by land to the Canal du Midi at Le Somailmarker — a journey of approximately . A century later, when the Canal de Jonction was constructed, the Canal de la Robine was straightened and six single locks were built to deal with the more severe gradients, Narbonne finally had direct waterway access to the Canal du Midi.

From the Aude the canal passes through the centre of Narbonne and under the Merchants' Bridgemarker (fr: le pont des Marchands) which is one of the few bridges in France which is still lined with houses. From there it runs through Bagesmarker and the Ile Sainte Lucie nature reserve before meeting the Mediterranean at Port-la-Nouvellemarker.

Locks on the Canal de la Robine

Lock number Lock name Coordinates
(with links to maps and satellite images)
Number of chambers Distance from the Canal du Midi Image Elevation
km mi ft m
8 Moussoulens Lock 1
9 Raonel Lock 1
10 Gua Lock 1
11 Narbonne Lock 1
12 Mandirac Lock 1
13 Sainte-Lucie Lock 1


Notes

References

See also




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