Corinth Canal: the artificial isthmus that took 2,500 years of work

It took 2,500 years of work to build the Corinth Canal, the incredible passage that connects the Aegean Sea to the Ionian Sea in a straight line.

Author: Clara Salzano

The Corinth Canal between the Aegean and Ionian Seas

It was the Roman Emperor Nero, in the 1st century AD, who started the construction of the Corinth Canal. It is an artificial navigable isthmus that connects the Aegean Sea to the Ionian Sea. More than 12,000 ships navigate this bed every year between steep rock faces. Its passage is one of the most spectacular water crossings in the world and saves 321 kilometers of circumnavigation that would be needed to cross the Greek coasts towards the Ionian Sea.

On the Corinth Canal
On the Corinth Canal

The Corinth Canal was completed between 1881 and 1893, but the idea of ​​cutting through the isthmus to connect the route between the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea dates back to the 7th century BC, with the Corinthian tyrant Periander, considered one of the seven sages of antiquity, who also questioned the Delphic oracle on the matter. It took 2,500 years of work to create the incredible passage that connects Kalamàki and Posidonia in a straight line.

The straight line connecting Kalamàki and Posidonia
The straight line connecting Kalamàki and Posidonia

The artificial river bed, completely surrounded by high rocky walls, is characterized by a spectacular straight path measuring 6,343 meters long, 22 meters wide on average and 8 meters deep at its maximum point and banks of up to 80 meters high. . Its dimensions, therefore, only allow the passage of medium-small commercial and tourist ships (about 10,000 t). Over time, two sidewalks were also built that allow crossing the canal from the ground.

Between the rocky canal walls
Between the rocky canal walls

The construction took a long time, given that the Roman Emperor Nero in the 1st century AD started the work and left it unfinished, due to the numerous landslides that occurred and the difficulty of working in such a particular territory. The last landslide was recorded on 15 January 2021 and required the closure of the isthmus for further work. The Corinth Canal reopened on July 5, 2022.

Source: Fan Page IT

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