Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Up the Canal du Loing, August 19/22

In 1719 the Duke of Orleans, already owner of the Canal d’Orleans (now sadly closed), decided to canalize the Loing River to connect his existing canal to the Seine. The work was completed in 1724. Originally the canal was made up of a series of river sections connected by constructed waterways. Major improvements, including expanding the size of the locks, took place in the 1800’s and left only two sections of river as part of the canal; right at one end from St. Mammes to Moret and in Nemours. It’s a very pleasant waterway with recently automated locks allowing Cathy Jo to once again exercise her “supapowa”.

The remote control used to trigger the locks.

We picked up the remote at the first lock just out of Moret about 9 am and after 13 k and 6 locks found a mooring spot along the bank in Montcourt. It was a nice spot, basically in the backyard of a row of houses, three rings on a grassy bank. We were just in time for Sunday lunch, just a little after noon. We went for a little bike ride around the area after lunch a stumbled across a big field of something that looked a little familiar.

No it’s not the smoking kind. This hemp is probably used either for the oil or the fiber for fabrics.

We weren’t planning on spending much time in any of our stops along the canal. We were supposed to arrive in Briare (our winter moorings) in a little over a week and we wanted to get some painting done before then. We were scoping out possible spots; free with water and electricity provided but not close to a town so our noise and dust wouldn’t cause problems. Also, since we are planning on hauling the boat out at Migennes in the spring, we’ll be retracing our steps then and can revisit anyplace that looks interesting.
Monday morning we headed off to a slightly bigger town, Nemours. it was just 5 k up the canal and no locks so we were tied up by 10:30. One of the mooring spots on our chart was close to the center of town, a pontoon in a park on the river, only room for us. It looked a little sketchy but we tied up anyway. It turns out the “official” moorings are through a lock off the river where there’s room for several boats with water and electricity available. We were only going to stay the one day so we remained where we were although we did have to give some “side eye” to some “yoots” who showed up with a boombox and settled in right at the top of the ramp down to the boat. They were too young for drinking, though, so they cleared off after awhile, leaving us in relative peace.
The view to the other side of the river as the sun went down was very picturesque.

We spent the afternoon wandering around the town but, like many of the smaller towns in the area, it looked like it had seen more prosperous days.
Tuesday morning we were off to our next stop just 15 k up the canal, Neronville. There was a good bank with lots of bollards and a park with picnic tables and some shade but the main reason for our stop there was that it was an easy bike ride to the town of Chateau Landon, another Village de Caractère.
Situated above the Fusain River the town has had a long history. Inhabited in Neolithic times and apparently an important Gallic city, not much is known before an oratory to honor St. Severin, who miraculously cured Clovis, king of the Franks in 504, was built on the site in the mid-500’s. In the 1000’s an important abbey was constructed and heavily modified in the 1200’s. During the Revolution all of the religious buildings were confiscated by the state and sold into private hands. In the 1890’s the abbey was given to the state and converted into a retirement home. In the 2000’s, the building was completely renovated.
Limestone quarried near the town was used to build the Arc de Triomphe, Sacré Coeur  and several bridges in Paris.

Approaching town from the other side of the river.

The Abbey/Retirement Home is all the way to the right
 with other town buildings constructed on top of the old defensive wall.

Sitting all by itself out in the middle of a farm yard just outside of town,
 the Saint-André Tower is all that remains of an important abbey.

Wednesday morning we set out for Montargis, the town at the junction of the Canal du Loing, the Canal de Briare and the closed Canal d’Orleans.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All of a sudden I'm getting comment spam. I'll have to use Captcha until it gets under control. Sorry...