The Nantes-Brest Canal : a great technical heritage

Like all canals, the Nantes-Brest Canal was designed to be built with the minimum of effort, by using existing valleys as far as possible.
But ‘minimum of effort’ is easier said than done ! The project was gigantic for its time, involving the digging of 364 kilometres of canals and no less than 238 locks. 
The Pays de Redon has an amazing range of installations including locks, bridges and the lateral canal of the rivers Oust and Isac with its overflow channels separating the river from the navigable canal pound. There is also a headrace which runs from the river Oust into the heart of Redon town centre; a large wet dock in Redon, designed for large ocean-going sailing vessels of today and yesteryear; maritime locks with two sets of lock gates, to adapt to fluctuating levels due to tidal activity.
Each quay, each lock is an example of fine 19th century craftsmanship : dressed stone, wrought iron and hand-made wooden beams…take time to admire them !