It is in Béziers that is the major work of the Canal du Midi: Les 9 Écluses de Fonséranes.

A water of 31,2 meters which allows barges and boats to cross a drop of 25 meters.

For the time, an extraordinary technical feat performed by Paul Riquet as a tribute to his hometown.

Les 9 Ecluses

Les 9 Écluses de Fonséranes

Chemin des Écluses

34500 Béziers


Ranking World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO December 7, 1996 has given a soul to one of the oldest still operating channels, now dedicated to tourism. Built during the reign of Louis XIV, from 1667 to 1681, called the Royal Canal to the French Revolution, it stretches over 240 km. Large 20 to 24 m, 2 m deep on average, there are 69 locks and 350 works spanning his course and facilitate its airworthiness.

It is extended to the Atlantic by the Garonne Lateral Canal of 193 km. Property of the State, 350 Waterways of France working throughout the year to ensure the peace and security of users of the Canal du Midi.

Pierre-Paul Riquet (1609-1680), genius and visionary. The Collector General of the salt tax of Languedoc, a native of Béziers, supported the canal project all his life. At the age of 58, with his personal fortune, he started building having previously convinced Colbert, the Intendant of Finance to Louis XIV. By order of the King, Riquet became engineer and co-financier. The work was carried out in three phases between Toulouse and the port of Cette (modern day Sète).