Écluses de Fonseranes

Écluses de Fonseranes (HM14XN)

Location: Béziers, Languedoc-Roussillon 34500 Hérault
Country: France
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N 43° 19.872', E 3° 12.034'

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Le Canal du Midi

— [The Fonseranes Locks] —

Les écluses de Fonseranes constituent certainement l'un de plus majestueux et formidables ouvrages issus de génie creatif de Riquet. Véritable chef-d'oeuvre architectural et esthétique, ce remarquable ensemble monumental fut considéré lors de sa construction comme l'une des merveilles du monde.
Après s'être affranchi de la problématique traversée du Malpas, Riquet se heurta à une nouvelle difficulté. Une dénivellation de plus de 21 m séparait en effet Fonseranes de l'Orb qui coule au pied de Beziers.
Il imagina donc de construire un veritable escalier d'eau composé de huit ecluses et s'etirant sur plus de 280m.
A l'origine, ces écluses conduisaient les bateux au niveau de la rivière qu'ils traversaient pour rejoindre l'entrée du canal sur l'autre rive au Pont Rouge. Une retenue en aval du passage permettait de maintenir le niveau de la rivière à celui du canal.
Mais les caprices de l'Orb conduisirent à la construction d'un pont-canal en 1857 évitant ainsi une traversée rendue parfois périlleuse.
Ce nouvel aménagement provoqua une modification du tracé du canal. C'est ainsi que la dernière eclus s'ouvrant sur le port Notre-Dame fut comdamné et que l'on remania l'avant-dernière de façon à permettre le dégagement de barques et le raccordement au pont canal grâce à sa troisième porte.
Les Ecluses de Fonseranes en Chiffres:
Longueur de l'ourage: 298,10 metres
A l'origine:
Nombre de bassins: 8
Denivelee totale: 21,18 meters
Aujourd'hui:
Nombre du bassins: 6
Denivelee totale: 13,60 metres
Duree de la montee: 45 minutes
Duree de la descente: 30 minutes

Voies Navigables de France

[ Translation and liberal interpretation:
The Froseranes Locks
The Canal du Midi
Fonseranes locks are certainly one of the most majestic and wonderful works of creative genius from Riquet. True architectural masterpiece and aesthetics, it was considered remarkable monumental complex in its construction as one of the wonders of the world.
After free from the problem of crossing Malpas, Riduet ran into a new problem. A drop of more than 21 m separated Fonseranes and the Orb river flowing at the foot of Beziers.
He imagined constructing a real water staircase of eight locks and stretching over 280m.
Originally, boats would then leave the locks and cross the river to reach the entrance of the channel on the other side of the Red Bridge. Impounding downstream water made it possible to maintain the level of the river channel.
But the vagaries of Orb led to the construction of a canal bridge in 1857, thus avoiding a sometimes perilous voyage.
This new development caused a realignment of the channel. The last lock opening to the port Notre Dame was condemned and channel reworked to allow the release of the boats onto an canal aqueduct that crossed over the Orb river.
The Fonseranes Locks in Numbers:
Overall length: 298.10 meters
Originally:
Number of pools: 8
Total vertical drop: 21.18 meters
today:
Number of pools: 6
Total vertical drop: 13.60 meters
Duration of the climb: 45 minutes
Descent time: 30 minutes]
Details
HM NumberHM14XN
Tags
Placed ByVoies Navigables de France
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 8:14am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)31T E 516259 N 4797614
Decimal Degrees43.33120000, 3.20056667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 19.872', E 3° 12.034'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 19' 52.3200" N, 3° 12' 2.0400" E
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Rampe du Coche d'Eau, Béziers Languedoc-Roussillon 34500, FR
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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