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Nantes-Brest canal

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The Nantes-Brest canal is a French canal which links the two seaports of Nantes and Brest through inland Brittany. It was built in the early 19th century, and its total length as built was 385 km with 238 locks.
Brittany started developing its waterway network in 1538 when it decided to improve navigation on the Vilaine. The project for a canal throughout the province was conceived by an 'inland navigation commission' convened in 1783. When Brest was blockaded by the English fleet Napoleon I of France decided to build the canal to provide a safe inland link between the two largest military ports of the French Atlantic front. Building started in 1811, and Napoleon III of France presided over the canal's opening in 1858.


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