The northernmost portion, linking Beijing and Luoyang, was named the Yongji Channel. The governments of the Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang Provinces planned dredging meant to increase shipping capacity by 40 percent by 2012. What rivers did the Grand Canal connect? The Manchus established the Qing dynasty (1644–1912), and under their leadership, the Grand Canal was overseen and maintained just as in earlier times. In the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), the capital was established at Linan, which meant that the Eastern Zhejiang Canal became an important shipping channel. Between 1958 and 1964 it was straightened, widened, and dredged; one new section 40 miles (65 km) long was constructed, and modern locks were added. The Grand Canal is bridged at four points. 'the river of locks'. It is here that the modern canal stops and that a Grand Canal Cultural Park has been built. [6], The Han Gou is known as the second oldest section of the later Grand Canal since the Hong Gou (t 鴻溝, s 鸿沟, Hónggōu, "Canal of the Wild Geese" or "Far-Flung Canal") most likely preceded it. Building Blisworth Tunnel, was the most troublesome part of the Grand Junction Canal (now known as the Grand Union Canal) construction. This section was bu… [21] During the Song and earlier periods, barge ships occasionally crashed and wrecked along the Shanyang Yundao section of the Grand Canal while passing the double slipways, and more often than not those were then robbed of the tax grain by local bandits. As in the Song and Jin era, the canal fell into disuse and dilapidation during the Yuan dynasty's decline. Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, writing 200 years later, described how Ptolemy II had improved the Nile-to-Red Sea canal by building a type of lock. 1 0. The canal is also used to divert water from the Yangtze to northern Jiangsu province for irrigation, making possible double cropping of rice. Marco Polo recounted the Grand Canal's arched bridges as well as the warehouses and prosperous trade of its cities in the 13th century. [28] They dug four large reservoirs in Shandong to regulate water levels, which allowed them to avoid pumping water from local sources and water tables. The Grand Canal, known to the Chinese as the Jing–Hang Grand Canal (Chinese: 京杭大運河; pinyin: Jīng-Háng Dà Yùnhé; lit. [18] To ensure smooth travel of grain shipments, Transport Commissioner Liu Yan (in office from 763 to 779) had special river barge ships designed and constructed to fit the depths of each section of the entire canal.[19]. 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. The Wei River at this point is heavily polluted while drought and industrial water extraction have left it too low to be 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. [20] Such an unfortunate event could reduce the legitimacy of a ruling dynasty by causing others to perceive it as having lost the Mandate of Heaven; this was a good reason for dynastic authorities to maintain a smooth and efficient canal system. Slough-Eton canal. After 1934 the Chinese government carried out extensive works on the canal between Huaiyin and the Yangtze; ship locks were constructed to allow medium-sized steamers to use this section, which was dredged and largely rebuilt. It was fed by rivers flowing from east to west from the borders of the Shandong massif. THE GRAND CANAL is one of the wonders of the world. 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. The water level in the Jiangnan Canal remains scarcely above sea level (the Zhenjiang ridge is 12 meters higher than that of the Yangtze River). 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. [38]. 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. Updates? 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. What dynasty was the grand canal built? As the north shore of the Yangtze gradually silted up to create the sandbank island of Guazhou, it became necessary for boats crossing to and from the Jiangnan Canal to sail the long way around the eastern edge of that island. [27] Chinese engineers built a dam to divert the Wen River to the southwest in order to feed 60% of its water north into the Grand Canal, with the remainder going south. During wartime, the high dikes of the Yellow River were sometimes deliberately broken in order to flood and thus sweep away advancing enemy troops. Built in the 7th century by CHINA's Sui Dynasty, it stretches about 1,100 mi (1,800 km) across eastern China—about the same distance as MIAMI, FLORIDA, to NEW YORK CITY, or LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, to Vancouver, CANADA.The canal was built to transport rice and silk from the rich and fertile south to the dry … This ancient waterway was first constructed as early as the 4th century bce , was rebuilt in 607 ce , and has been used ever since. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Grand-Canal-China, UNESCO World Heritage Centre - The Grand Canal, Grand Canal - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). [31] It is known that 121,500 soldiers and officers were needed simply to operate the 11,775 government grain barges in the mid-15th century. The mouth of the Daqing, however, silted up almost immediately. Construction of the Grand Canal, which was based on a number of canals built as early as the sixth century B.C. The Grand Canal is currently being upgraded to serve as the Eastern Route of the South-North Water Transfer Project. Huan Wen's primitive summit canal became a model for the engineers of the Jizhou Canal. [11][12] The history of the canal's construction is handed down in the book Kaiheji ('Record of the Opening of the Canal'). The following year, he moved the capital to Luoyang and ordered a large-scale expansion of the canal. In the 1950s a new canal was dug to the south of the old summit section. [45], In 1793, after a largely fruitless diplomatic mission to Jehol, a large part of Lord Macartney's embassy returned south to the Yangtze delta via the Grand Canal. 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. The old summit section is now dry, while the new canal holds too little water to be navigable. The Grand Canal was built in 468 BC, and it went through renovations and enlargements three times in history, which were in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC), the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) respectively. The elevation of the canal bed varies from 1 m below sea level at Hangzhou to 38.5 m above at its summit. There were two concentrated periods of canal building, from 1759 to the early 1770’s and from 1789 to almost the end of the eighteenth century. [3] The canal has been admired by many throughout history including Japanese monk Ennin (794–864), Persian historian Rashid al-Din (1247–1318), Korean official Choe Bu (1454–1504), and Italian missionary Matteo Ricci (1552–1610).[4][5]. The canal's central portions stretched from Yangzhou to Luoyang; the section between the Yangtze and the Huai continued to the Shanyang River, and the next section connected the Huai to the Yellow River and was called the Tongji Channel. [15] One of the greatest benefits of the canal system in the Tang dynasty—and subsequent dynasties—was that it reduced the cost of shipping grain that had been collected in taxes from the Yangtze River Delta to northern China. The idea of connecting Dublin to the Shannon was proposed as early as 1715, and in 1757 the Irish Parliament granted Thomas Omer £20,000 to start construction of a canal. Designed by Antonio da Ponte in the late 16th century, the Rialto Bridge crosses the canal at roughly its halfway point. The Grand Canal, called in Chinese Yii … Although to spectators, the canal appears to be a deep waterway in these city centers, its depth is maintained by weirs and the canal is all but dry where it passes through the surrounding countryside. [24] The Jurchen Jin dynasty continually battled with the Song in the region between the Huai River and the Yellow River; this warfare led to the dilapidation of the canal until the Mongols invaded in the 13th century AD and began necessary repairs. It was built as an arm of the Grand Junction Canal, in two separate phases, opening in 1800 and 1801. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Further on, about 30 km (19 mi) north of Jining, the highest elevation of the canal (38.5 m or 126 ft above sea level) is reached at the town of Nanwang. [40] There are plans for restoring transportation up to Tai'an.[41]. The Grand Canal we see today was built section by section in different areas and dynasties before it was linked together by the Sui Dynasty (581-618). In 1169, with China divided between the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty in the north and the Southern Song dynasty in the south, the Southern Song Emperor Xiaozong sent a delegation to the Jurchen to wish their ruler well for the New Year. [10], The sections of the Grand Canal today in Zhejiang and southern Jiangsu provinces were in large part a creation of the Sui dynasty (581–618), a result of the migration of China's core economic and agricultural region away from the Yellow River valley in the north and toward the southern provinces. This ‘Inner Canal’ runs between the Yangtze and Huai'an in Jiangsu, skirting the Shaobo, Lake Gaoyou, and Hongze lakes of central Jiangsu. 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. The old canal lining (put in the canal in early 70s) was now giving way and causing substantial leaks in the bed of the canal again. [2] Ships in Chinese canals did not have trouble reaching higher elevations after the pound lock was invented in the 10th century, during the Song dynasty (960–1279), by the government official and engineer Qiao Weiyue. "The Grand Canal of China is the world's oldest and longest canal, far surpassing the next two grand canals of the world: Suez and Panama Canal. It was replaced in 1932 by a wooden bridge that … 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. He ordered a canal to be constructed for trading purposes, as well as a means to ship ample supplies north in case his forces should engage the northern states of Song and Lu. For an excellent examination of the house and its construction, see … The houses were built around the Grand Canal mostly in teh seventeenth century… In 604 AD, Emperor Yangdi of the Sui Dynasty toured Luoyang (now the city in Henan Province). Known as the New Bian Canal, it remained the chief waterway throughout the Tang period (618–907) and the Northern Song period (960–1125/26). The Grand Canal was built in the perspective of Versailles Palace by gardener Andre Lenotre. Who Built The grand canal The reason the Canal was built was because emperor Yang wanted a quicker way to transport grains to Beijing. In 1488, the shipwrecked Korean scholar Choe Bu traveled the entire length of the Grand Canal on his way from Zhejiang to Beijing (and on to Korea) and left a detailed account of his trip. The canal can now accommodate medium-sized barge traffic throughout its length. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. In recent years, because of newer modes of transportation, the canal has been gradually replaced. Does China have about half of the world’s population? This ‘Middle Canal’ section runs from Huai'an to Weishan Lake, passing through Luoma Lake and following more than one course, the result of the impact of centuries of Yellow River flooding. Its greatest height is reached in the mountains of Shandong, at a summit of 42 m (138 ft). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. An alternative canal, cut across the neck of the Shandong Peninsula from the harbour of Qingdao (Tsingtao) to Yixian, also proved impracticable and was abandoned. Early canal construction took place in the Shanyin old canal in Shaoxing City, in the Spring and Autumn period (approximately 771 to 476 BC). The Grand Canal was built to connect 1 See answer 05isamar51479 is waiting for your help. After the An Shi Rebellion (755–763), the economy of northern China was greatly damaged and never recovered due to wars and to constant flooding of the Yellow River. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. The main traffic, however, is concentrated in the southern half. The Yilou Canal was opened in 738 AD and still exists, though not as part of the modern Grand Canal route. [31], Besides its function as a grain shipment route and major vein of river-borne indigenous trade in China, the Grand Canal had long been a government-operated courier route as well. In the 19th century a series of disastrous floods broke the dikes of the Huang He (which began to shift to its present northern course), caused great problems in the section of the canal between Xuzhou and Huaiyin, and cut across the canal between Linqing and Jining. The Huitong Canal, built by an engineer called Ma Zhizhen, ran across sharply sloping ground and the high concentration of locks gave it the nicknames chahe or zhahe, i.e. Records show that, at its height, every year more than 8,000 boats[39] transported four to six million dan (240,000–360,000 metric tons) of grain. The Panama Canal was a canal built in Panama. In 1282–83 the decision was made to build a new canal from the Huang He—which since 1195 had changed its course southward and taken over the former mouth of the Huai below Huaiyin—to the Daqing River in northern Shandong province, which was dredged to give an outlet to the sea. [43], In the late 1200s, Marco Polo traveled extensively through China and his trips included time on the Grand Canal, then a major artery for shipping silk, porcelain, and wine.[44]. The reconstruction of the canal began in 2002, by 2007 it was partially navigable, and the renovation project finished in 2009, though the Ningbo section was not navigable until the end of 2013. After leaving Hangzhou the canal passes around the eastern border of Lake Tai, through the major cities of Jiaxing, Suzhou, Wuxi, and Changzhou before reaching Zhenjiang. Song Li's improvements, recommended by a local man named Bai Ying, included damming the rivers Wen and Guang and drawing lateral canals from them to feed reservoir lakes at the very summit, at a small town called Nanwang. He achieved this by joining two of these rivers' tributaries, the Si and the Ji respectively, at their closest point, across a low watershed of the Shandong massif. Grand Canal history. It reappears again in Liaocheng City on the north bank where, intermittently flowing through a renovated stone channel, it reaches the city of Linqing on the Shandong – Hebei border. Is China the most densely populated country on Earth? On June 22, 2014, The Grand Canal was listed as a World Heritage Site, at the 2014 Conference on World Heritage.[35]. [26], The Grand Canal was renovated almost in its entirety between 1411 and 1415 during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). From the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) to the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), the Eastern Zhejiang Canal lost its privilege but remained navigable. [10] The historian Sima Qian (145–90 BC) knew of no historical date for it, placing his discussion of it just after the legendary works of Yu the Great; modern scholars now consider it to belong to the 6th century BC. In 1855, the Yellow River flooded and changed its course, severing the course of the canal in Shandong. It runs from north to south, from near Peking to Hangchou, intersecting the Huang Ho (Yellow), Huai, and Yangtze rivers. North of the northernmost Nanyang Lake is the city of Jining. Then called Leinster Grove, it housed the manager of Leinster Mills, and … It ran for 75 kilometers (47 mi) from Nanyang (now Nanyang Town, located in the center of Weishan Lake) to the small settlement of Liucheng (in the vicinity of modern Gaolou Village, Weishan County, Shandong) north of Xuzhou City. It was disused from 1932, but was not finally abandoned until 1964. The need for a major transport link again arose during the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty (1279–1368), because its capital at Dadu (Beijing) required a grain-supply system. From south to north these are the Jiangnan Canal, the Inner Canal, the Middle Canal, the Lu Canal, the South Canal, the North Canal, and the Tonghui River. The Grand Canal – the big canal that runs through the heart of Venice – is deeper, at an average of 5 metres, while the Canale della Giudecca – which separates the main part of Venice from the island of Giudecca – is around 12 to 17 metres deep. He largely built the so-called "Grand Cross" of canals which linked the four great river basins of Britain, the Severn, Mersey, Humber, and the Thames, the latter being reached from 1790 via the Oxford Canal, lengthy route to London from the north. [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 water flows from Beijing toward Tianjin, from Nanwang north toward Tianjin, and from Nanwang south toward Yangzhou. 2. In 12 BC, in order to solve the problem of the Grand Canal having to use 160 kilometers (100 mi) of the perilous course of the Yellow River in Northern Jiangsu, a man named Li Hualong created the Jia 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. 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