Le canal du centre
Canals played an important part in the Industrial Revolution, helping to bring France into the modern era.These navigable waterways allowed businesses to receive raw materials and send their products all over France and even abroad.
The Canal du Centre was built between 1783 and 1793 by the engineer Emiland Gauthey to link the region with the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
However, in addition to its role as a transit route, the canal also acted as the major catalyst for local industrial development, benefitting industries such as the Blanzy-Montceau coal field, the Schneider factories at Le Creusot and the Guegnon ironworks. Ceramic factories (tile and pottery workshops and brickyards) are found along the entire length of the canal, giving the area its name of "Vallée de la Céramique".
When commercial traffic fell into decline after the Second World War, the canal turned to tourism. Providing a link between the River Saône and the River Loire, it allows visitors to travel by water from Chalon-sur-Saöne to Digoin, then further afield to the Atlantic coast, the English Channel, the Mediterranean, and even along the River Rhine to the countries of Eastern Europe
Web site : http://www.canal-du-centre.asso.fr