Fonserannes Lock - France

Fonserannes Lock is a staircase lock on the Canal du Midi near Beziers in the Languedoc region of France. It consists of eight ovoid lock chambers (characteristic of the Canal du Midi) and nine gates, which allow boats to be raised a height of 21.5 m, in a distance of 300 m. Whilst the flight was built to allow boats to cross the River Orb and rejoin the canal a little further downstream, the crossing of the Orb was long ago replaced by an aqueduct. The eighth chamber, which locks down into the Orb, is now not used. Traditional buildings such as the stables and the lock keeper's house still remain. These and the locks have made Fonserannes Lock a popular tourist destination. In 1983 an inclined plane was built for boats too large for these locks to bypass them, but the project encountered severe technical problems and was abandoned in 2001. From here you can visit Pezenas, a delightful village and the first seat of the Languedoc court, mostly known for its associations with the French playwright Moliere or NarbonneNarbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived.