Volga-Don Canal – The “Meeting” of the rivers before the great gates in Volgograd

Α canal, which connects the Volga River and the Don River at their closest points. The length of the waterway is 101 km (45 km through rivers and reservoirs). The canal starts at the Sarepta backwater of the Volga, south of Volgograd and it ends in the Tsimlyansk Reservoir of the Don.

Volga-Don Canal, near Volgodonsk, gate-lock 14, together with lock 15, it is part of the Tsimlyansk hydroelectric complex / Image source

Τhe connection of the two rivers goes back a long way in history. First canal work was done by the Ottoman Turks in 1569. The Ottomans wanted to create a maritime link to Central Asia. According to most historians, the Ottomans managed to dig one-third of the canal.

Peter the Great after capturing Azov in 1696, he decided to build a canal, but due to a lack of resources and other problems, this attempt was abandoned in 1701. Later on, they would come up with several more projects for connecting these rivers, however, they would never be carried out.

Volga–Don Canal, gate-lock 13 near Kalach-na-Donu / Image source

The actual construction of the Volga-Don Canal began prior to the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, which would interrupt the process. In 1948-1952 the construction was completed. Upon completion, the Volga-Don Canal became an important link of the unified deep-water transportation system of the European part of the USSR.

See old photos: hodor.lol

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