The Juliana Canal , named after Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, is a 36 km long canal in the southern Netherlands, providing a bypass of an unnavigable section of the river Meuse between Maastricht and Maasbracht. It is an important transport connection between the ports of the Rhine delta and the industrial areas of southern Limburg and southern Belgium.
The Juliana Canal was constructed in the 1920s and 1930s, and opened in 1935. It was important for the development of coal mining in southern Limburg , since it is suited for larger ships than the older Zuid-Willemsvaart, which runs from 's-Hertogenbosch to Maastricht, partly through Belgium. The Juliana Canal runs parallel to the Meuse, at maximum 3 km east of the river. Between Maasbracht and Maastricht, the canal gains approximately 25 m of elevation. There are locks at Limmel , Born, and Maasbracht. Until 1965, there used to be another lock near Roosteren. When the locks of Born and Maasbracht were modernized, these became unnecessary and were destroyed. There are ports at Maastricht, Stein, Born and Maasbracht. The port at Stein used to be the second large inland port in Europe, after Duisburg in Germany. This was because of the Dutch State Mines. All the coal mines the Netherlands had were in this area. Today, DSM still owns a part of the port.
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