The Telemark Canal connects Skien to Dalen in southern Norway by linking several long lakes in the Skien watershed through a series of 18 locks.
It originally consisted of two canals. The Norsjø–Skien Canal, with locks in Skien and Løveid, was built in 1854–1861 and linked Skien with Norsjø lake. The longer Bandak–Norsjø Canal was opened in 1892 by the Minister of Labour Hans Hein Theodor Nysom. It extended the canal from Norsjø lake through Flåvatn and Kviteseidvatn lakes to Bandak lake. In Europe, this canal was seen as "the eighth wonder" at the time it was finished. The Bandak–Nordsjø Canal was mainly built for transport of goods and passengers, log floating and to prevent flooding. Log floating is no longer practiced, due to the closing of Union, a local paper factory. An eastern section gives access from Norsjø lake to Notodden via Lake Heddalsvatnet.
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