While rummaging through our attic or basements, we often end up finding a lot of interesting and surprising stuff we may have forgotten about. It is one of the blessings that comes with cleaning the house when such incident occur. So can you just imagine the kind of items that a 200 year old canal would contain if it got drained? Just buckle yourselves up because this strange canal has a lot of mysterious items it had been hiding all these years, surprising everyone. On one January day in Paris, a crowd gathered around the Canal Saint-Martin. As they noticed dingy brown depths of the canal, they were about to unfold a lot of secrets that were hidden in it. The water of the canal had drained out, so the bottom layer was completely visible, and it revealed some astonishing facts about the canal.
Intriguing History Of The Canal
So most of you may be wondering how this canal came into being in the first place right? Well. we did a little digging and so we could get the history of this canal that has been a crucial part of this Parisian street’s identity. This incredible canal was actually built in the year 1802 after the famous French leader Napoleon I passed the order for its construction. The total population of the city of Paris during this period was around 550,000 and it was increasing in an alarming amount. So Napoleon felt that the canal would be of huge help in bringing fresh water to this town which and would ultimately rid the town of diseases that were in full flourish during those days.
The Famous Canal Saint-Martin
This canal was not the only canal to be constructed during that time. It was a time when Paris was growing as a city and so its premises were accordingly modified so as to make it as contemporary as possible. So in the time span of the next two decades, three canals were actually built across the city. These canal were extremely lengthy wherein the total length of the three canals amounted up to more than 80 miles. The Canal Saint-Martin was in fact the most popular out of the rest. This famous canal actually connects the 68-mile Canal de l’Ourcq with the flow of the River Seine. It was the vision of Napoleon and yes, the canal did bring a lot of positive effects to this town.
The Areas Covered By The Canal
This incredible canal originated from Bassin de l’Arsenal which is located besides the Seine river. Then it travels under the ground underneath Place de la Bastille. The canal then at last, emerges near the Place de la République. From here the canal further heads north towards Bassin de la Villette meeting up with the Canal de l’Ourq and the River Ourcq. Just the length and places it passes through gives the canal enough reasons as to why it is one of the most popular canals in the whole of Paris. Since it has been present for over 200 years, the canal obviously holds a sentimental places in the hearts of the residents who make sure it is well maintained, drained then cleaned every few years.
A Crucial part of Trade And Commerce
If you are wondering how much this canal takes up, we have the answers right here. This canal had made a few important changes in the living conditions of the people living nearby. The Canal Saint-Martin covers a whopping three miles of central Paris. Back in the olden days, the tax collected on wine was made use of as a fund for the canal. This resulted in a historical event in the trade and it further made positive changes as it also brought in fresh water to the city. The canal paved the way for transporting building supplies and food for the people of Paris. So the idea that first propelled this canal to be in full construction paid off and now Parisians were living off of the advantages that the canal offered.
Popular Tourist Place
If you have seen this canal, you are one of the many who have done the touristy thing that most people do while they are in Paris. This canal is a very common tourist spot where people come to learn about its various contributions in history and also in trade and commerce. These days, the canal serves as one of the popular tourist destination in Paris. There are so many people who use this canal as a picnic spot. The locals love to spend time with their loved ones to spend some picnic time and enjoy the beautiful setting the canal has made. Some of Paris’ rich brats also spend their time along the banks and in pavement cafes. Meanwhile, the picturesque bridges are a special attraction for the tourists.
A Widely Recognized Symbol
The canal had been there for over 2 centuries. Hence, it is quite clear that there has been a lot of historical events that the canal has seen happening in and around the area. It has become a crucial part of Paris’ history ever since its existence. The Canal Saint-Martin has indeed become one of the most recognized symbol the city has to offer. The canal has served as an object of beauty and subject, inspiring a lot of painters to paint the scenic beauty it has to offer. One particular famous painter among the rest would be British impressionist Alfred Sisley. It is one of the most preferred locations for the movie directors. A sequence of the 2001 famous French flick, Amelie was shot at this venue only.