The Corinth Canal. How many times did we study it on the History books? But how many times did we really wonder where is it exactly? And how it is like?
I write this post because during our last on the road in Greece we had the chance to admire it and the first impact when you look at it from the bridge is…perplexity. Yeah, you got it right.
History of the Corinth Canal
The history of the Corinth Canal is very ancient. You think Periandro in the VII century BC was the first person who thought about building it.
Of course, the technical and political issues were insurmountable and the history of the Corinth Canal alternates with new realization projects and complete neglects until the recent Age.
The opening of the Suez Canal gave a new rush to the project and finally it was opened in 1893.
The Peloponnese became in fact an island. The project goes through centuries of History mainly due to the morphology of the land. So here it is why I talked about perplexity. It isn’t like the other famous canals around the world: for almost its entire largeness (a bit more of 6 km) it has got high peak vertical walls which gives a distinctive aspect and greatness to the Corinth Canal.
Admiring the Corinth Canal
When you arrive around the area you won’t find any indication. If you arrive from Athens you don’t have to reach Corinth but you have to keep an eye on the map and the landscape to go close to the point where the canal is rise above by bridges. From here you have the best view of all.
Reaching it in the evening is particularly charming thanks to its lighting: near here you will find many tourist places and several venues and restaurants where to eat very well at ridiculous prices, crowded exclusively by Greeks.
The passage of boats
The canal is also very narrow, only 22 metres: it’s another reason to be astonished. This doesn’t allow the passage of the great ships but it hypnotize at the slow passage of boats before our eyes (and under our feet).
The greatest ones are drawn and to have the chance to be present at a night passage is really impressive. The use of the canal is an only way, due to its so little width.
Of course, the following morning we are here again to admire the grandeur. It’s even possible doing the bungee-jumping!
The submergible bridge
On the guide we read about a submergible bridge and it attracts us. We ask for information but no one knows nothing and people don’t understand what we are talking about. Actually…neither we know it!
Near there, at a few kilometres far, on the map is indicated a bridge in the Isthmia town. We reach it and it leaves us puzzled, too. In this point the walls are almost at water level: it is certainly another very beautiful point of view of the canal but nothing more.
We cross it on foot to take some photos and here is the mystery unveiled. The bridge has got many wood parts and it is all wet. Furthermore it has got a few “souvenirs” of the sea like this very beautiful sponge.
In practise, when the boats pass, it lower itself into the water to allow the passage. Don’t ask me why: actually it is a constructive and so unusual choice and certainly expensive as regards maintenance compared to any other choice as a lift bridge.
We didn’t understand it and the person in charge of the bridge’s movement didn’t speak English, so we couldn’t get any information.
Certainly, if you are going to pass around here, a stage is de rigueur. Maybe before going to discover Peloponnese.
The Corinth Canal is about 85 km far from Athens. To reach it by car, set Corinth or Isthmia on your GPS but don’t reach Corinth.
Of course, this sight of engineering isn’t low cost but it’s completely free and the different perspectives will allow you to take very good shoots.
Then you go on discovering Peloponnese. Did you already read our post about Monemvasia and its rock?