A 150-year-old canal in Pᴏʟᴀɴᴅ that connects Elblag and Ostroda is known as the Elblag Canal. Another name for it is the Elblag-Ostroda Canal. At more than 80 kilometers, it is Pᴏʟᴀɴᴅ’s longest navigable canal that is still in use. It is also one of the most fascinating canals in all of Europe.
Elblag Canal’s singularity lies in the unconventional engineering approach adopted to handle a particularly difficult section of the canal when the water level rises by 100 meters. This particular portion is situated between Druzno Lake and Piniewo Lake, a distance of about 10 kilometers. Because of the extreme height disparity, conventional locks could not be built. Instead, the boats were lifted out of the sea and placed on rails, then dragged across dry land by a sophisticated system of inclined planes.
On the inclines, which have two parallel rail tracks, a trolley is employed. The boat would steer the submerged trolley, which would subsequently be towed up or down to the opposite level and over the ɢʀᴀss. Until the ship could float out on its own, the trolleys would return to the sea at the opposite end. Water power is used to power the entire system. A second carriage that is weighted down with water is lowered down the incline to balance and draw the upward-moving carriage. The original four wooden locks were later replaced by a fifth inclined plane.
One of the most significant hydro-engineering accomplishments of the country, Elblag Canal’s clever solution to the issue has been praised. The canal was named one of Pᴏʟᴀɴᴅ’s Seven Wonders of the World by a Polish newspaper and is recognized by UNESCO as a testament to the global cultural legacies.
Let’s take a look at how ship can move on dry land in the video below:
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