Chécy, Friends of the vine (Translation in progress)

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The canal of Orleans

he Canal of Orléans, originally digged in 1676 on the Seine area by the wood merchant Robert Mahieu, to convey easily to Paris the logged wood from the local forests, was later extended to the Loire by Philippe d'Orléans, brother of Louis XIV. It opens March 4, 1692 and at this time, it took 5 days for the first boat to make the 73 km upstream from Combleux to Cepoy.
With the canal operating, there was now a connection between the two rivers, allowing the capital city to be supplied with wine, grains, wood, slate and other building materials.
Chécy became an important strategic location with its three ports for the transit of raw material, cattle, and just about everything needed by the capital city. The river station of Port-Morand could harbor up to a hundred boats at times of difficult navigation or because of traffic jams at the lock of Combleux or at "Girard ‘slipway" where damaged barges were repaired.
With time and water running on about the same tempo, traffic on the canal kept increasing until it became, in early nineties - the busiest waterway of France - More than 2500 boats and nearly 100 000 tons of freight being shipped upwards to Paris every year.
The place of Chécy, last station before reaching the River Loire, became teeming with an intense activity which went on until the years after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.
Then traffic started inexorably to decline, victim of competition with the railway recently set up along the river. And despite significant work, November 12, 1954, it closes permanently!
Gradually renovated since 1984, the channel is expected to become fully navigable for tourism in 2020… let's hope…
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