Designed by Conquent

Corinth Canal

I only have a couple of photos of The Corinth Canal but I think they are enough to give you the magnitude of the waterway.

The Canal links the Gulf of Corinth in the northwest with the Saronic Gulf in the southeast. The canal is 3.9 miles (6.3 km) long and has a water depth of 26 feet (8 m). Its width varies from a minimum of 69 feet (21 m) at the bottom to 82 feet (25 m) maximum at the water's surface.

Before it was built, ships sailing between the Aegean and Adriatic had to circumnavigate the Peloponnese adding about 185 nautical miles to their journey. The first to decide to dig the Corinth Canal was Periander, the tyrant of Corinth (602 B.C.).

Such a giant project was above the technical capabilities of ancient times. Dimitrios Poliorkitis, king of Macedon (c. 300 B.C.), was the second who tried, but his engineers insisted that if the seas where connected, the more northerly Adriatic, mistakenly thought to be higher, would flood the more southern Aegean. At the time, it was also thought that Poseidon, god of the sea, opposed joining the Aegean and the Adriatic. The same fear also stopped Julius Caesar and emperors Hadrian and Caligula. The most serious try was that of Emperor Nero (67 AD). He had 6,000 slaves for the job. He started the work himself, digging with a golden hoe, while music was played. However, he was killed before the work could be completed.

View from the Bridge

In the modern era, the first who thought seriously to carry out the project was Capodistrias (c. 1830), first governor of Greece after the liberation from the Ottoman Turks. But the budget, estimated at 40 million French francs, was too much for the Greek state. Finally, in 1869, the Parliament authorized the Government to grant a private company (Austrian General Etiene Tyrr) the privilege to construct the Canal of Corinth. Work began on Mar 29, 1882, but Tyrr's capital of 30 million francs proved to be insufficient. The work was restarted in 1890, by a new Greek company (Andreas Syggros), with a capital of 5 million francs. The job was finally completed and regular use of the Canal started on Oct 28, 1893.