The Suzhou section of the Jiangnan Canal flows through the western part of the city. It is the longest big-ship ( as opposed to sub-sized barges) canal of its type in the World. [28] In 1855 the dikes of the canal were opened to flood advancing troops of the Taiping Rebellion's Northern Expedition. So back to the Ulverston Canal. [15] Besides being the headquarters for the government salt monopoly and the largest pre-modern industrial production center of the empire, Yangzhou was also the geographical midpoint along the north-south trade axis, and so became the major center for southern goods shipped north. The Manchus invaded China in the mid-17th century, allowed through the northern passes by the Chinese general Wu Sangui once the Ming capital at Beijing had fallen into the hands of a rebel army. Although it was mainly used for shipping grain, it also transported other commodities and the corridor along the canal developed into an important economic belt. Construction began on the canal around 500 B.C. 'Capital–Hangzhou Grand Canal', or more commonly, as the「大運河」("Grand Canal")), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the longest canal or artificial river in the world. You might also like to read: Top 10 Books on the Panama Canal; After a particularly rough crossing of the Yangtze from Zhenjiang, the local prefect realized that a canal dug directly across Guazhou would reduce the journey time and thus make the crossing safer. The Grand Canal nominally runs between Beijing and Hangzhou over a total length of 1,794 km (1,115 mi), however, only the section from Hangzhou to Jining is currently navigable. North of the Jizhou Canal summit section, the Huitong Canal ran downhill, fed principally by the River Wen, to join the Wei River in the city of Linqing. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com. [17], By the year 735, it was recorded that about 149,685,400 kilograms (165,000 short tons) of grain were shipped annually along the canal. It is the longest man-made waterway in the world. Such a case occurred in the year 858 when an enormous flood along the Grand Canal inundated thousands of acres of farmland and killed tens of thousands of people in the North China Plain. In November 2008, as an extension of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the passage between the Grand Canal and the Maritime Silk Road, the Eastern Zhejiang Canal was placed into the nomination file in the UNESCO World Heritage program. 163 views Currently, the Grand Canal is primarily used for the transportation of a variety of bulk goods including coal, bricks, sand, gravel, and diesel. Its southern section, running between Hangzhou and the Yangtze, was named the Jiangnan River (the river ‘South of the Yangtze’). Named after the Jia River whose course it followed, it ran 140 kilometers (87 mi) from Xiazhen (modern Weishan) on the shore of Shandong's Weishan Lake to Suqian in Jiangsu. [29] The only other viable contender with Suzhou in the Jiangnan region was Hangzhou, but it was located 200 km (120 mi) further down the Grand Canal and away from the main delta. [33] Because of various factors—the difficulty of crossing the Yellow River, the increased development of an alternative sea route for grain-ships, and the opening of the Tianjin-Pukou Railway and the Beijing-Hankou Railway—the canal languished and for decades the northern and southern parts remained separate. [47][48], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}30°15′41″N 120°13′26″E / 30.26139°N 120.22389°E / 30.26139; 120.22389, Watercraft moving across the Grand Canal of China in, "Grand Canal" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters. [18] The Tang government oversaw canal lock efficiency and built granaries along the route in case a flood or other disaster impeded the path of shipment. The southern portion remains in heavy use to the present day. The pound lock was constructed by Qiao Weiyue an engineer and government official between 960 and 1279 during the Song dynasty. As well as its present-day course, fourteen centuries of canal-building have left the Grand Canal with a number of historical sections. Early canal construction took place in the Shanyin old canal in Shaoxing City, in the Spring and Autumn period (approximately 771 to 476 BC). Although the Tang dynasty (618–907) capital at Chang'an was the most thriving metropolis of China in its day, it was the city of Yangzhou—in proximity to the Grand Canal—that was the economic hub of the Tang era. On June 22, 2014, The Grand Canal was listed as a World Heritage Site, at the 2014 Conference on World Heritage.[35]. In 1600, Matteo Ricci traveled to Beijing from Nanjing via the Grand Canal waterway to gain the support of the Wanli Emperor of the Ming dynasty with the help of Wang Zhongde, the Director of the Board of Rites in the central government of China at the time. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the canal has been used primarily to transport vast amounts of bulk goods such as bricks, gravel, sand, diesel, and coal. However, several sections of the canal were first linked together between 581 and 618 CE during the Sui dynasty. [23], Much of the Grand Canal south of the Yellow River was ruined for several years after 1128 when Du Chong decided to break the dykes and dams holding back the waters of the Yellow River in order to decimate the oncoming Jurchen invaders during the Jin–Song wars. The jack-knife bridges at both ends rise as ships pass through the lock. [30] Therefore, the Grand Canal served to make or break the economic fortunes of certain cities along its route and served as the economic lifeline of indigenous trade within China. Currently, ships can only travel up to Jining. At present, diversions of water mean that the lakes are often largely dry land. In 1566, to escape the problems caused by flooding of the Yellow River around Yutai (now on the western shore of Weishan Lake), the Nanyang New Canal was opened. It rose to a height of 42 meters (138 ft) above the Yangtze, but environmental and technical factors left it with chronic water shortages until it was re-engineered in 1411 by Song Li of the Ming. The Panama Canal is not listed in the top but that connecting Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean that saves huge time, transportation expenses for ships and Panama Canal is one of the Engineering Wonders in the World. The Panama Canal is not listed in the top but that connecting Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean that saves huge time, transportation expenses for ships and Panama Canal is one of the Engineering Wonders in the World. [31] Each courier station was assigned a different name, all of which were popularized in travel songs of the period.[32]. This makes navigating a little easier and all the locks and swing bridges are manned by Scottish Canals staff. This ‘Inner Canal’ runs between the Yangtze and Huai'an in Jiangsu, skirting the Shaobo, Lake Gaoyou, and Hongze lakes of central Jiangsu. [8] It linked the Yellow River near Kaifeng to the Si and Bian rivers and became the model for the shape of the Grand Canal in the north. By this point waterless, it no longer connects to the river. Recent works have allowed floodwaters from Shanghe to be diverted safely out to sea. A southerly course passes close by Xuzhou and enters Weishan Lake near Peixian. Its channel includes 24 locks and is spanned by 60 bridges. This move deprived Nanjing of its status as chief political center of China. In the late Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC), Fuchai, King of the State of Wu (whose capital was in present-day Suzhou), ventured north to attack the State of Qi. The institution of the Grand Canal by the Qin dynasty and the Sui dynasty, mostly the Sui, also obviated the need for the army to become self-sufficient farmers while posted at the northern frontier, as food supplies could now easily be shipped from south to north over the pass. Despite temporary periods of desolation and disuse, the Grand Canal furthered an indigenous and growing economic market in China's urban centers from the Sui period onwards to the present. The Twente Canal, opened in 1936, improved communication with the industrial east. The economic importance of the canal likely will continue. The government also planted an enormous line of trees. [30] Even the shipwrecked Korean Choe Bu (1454–1504)—while traveling for five months throughout China in 1488—acknowledged that Hangzhou served not as a competitor but as an economic feeder into the greater Suzhou market. 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