The Göta Canal (Swedish: Göta kanal) is a Swedish canal constructed in the early 19th century; thereby fulfilling a 16th century dream of constructing a waterway linking Sweden's west coast with its east coast and avoiding the then Danish provinces now Swedish counties) of Halland, Skåne and Blekinge. The canal forms the backbone of a waterway stretching some 382 miles (614 km), linking a number of lakes and rivers to provide a route from Gothenburg (Swedish:Göteborg) on the west coast to Söderköping on the Baltic Sea via the river Göta älv and the Trollhätte kanal, through the large lakes Vänern and Vättern.
The canal itself is 118 miles (190 km) long, of which 54 miles (87 km) was dug or blasted, with a width varying between 23-46 ft (7-14 m) and a maximum depth of about 9 ft (3 m). It has 58 locks and can accommodate vessels up to 105 ft (32 m) long, 21 ft (7 m) wide and 2.8 m (9 ft) in draft.
Parts of the canal are still used to transport cargo, but it is now primarily used as a tourist and recreational attraction, dubbed Sveriges blå band ("Sweden's Blue Ribbon"). Around two million people visit the canal each year on pleasure cruises and related activities.
The best description of the canal on the Internet is to be found on the Company's own Website where information concerning the canal's history, opening times and navigation can be found in Swedish, German and English.
Books, guides, etc
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