The Canal de Bourgogne guides you trough many of France’s most well known wine fields. It bridges the gap between the Yonne and the Saône.
The first plans for the construction of the Canal de Bourgogne date back to 1607. The first goal of the developers was to raise money to fund the project. An important part of the funds was collected by raising taxes for the local farmers. These funds were used to pay for the construction of part of the Dijon-Saint Jean de Losne leg of the canal.
In 1696 Vauban released a study in which he suggested five possible routes for the Canal de Bourgogne. This article received many bad reactions of mayors. They were mainly interested in: trade opportunities that entails a canal, people who owned land and wanted to sell it for a good price to sell and engineers.
Only in 1718 came a new project, this time by Mr. de la Jonckers, he found that the top of the channel had to come to the small town Sombernon. The States of Burgundy gave the order to Mr. Abeille Pouillenay to investigate the valley. He wrote down his decision three years later. So eventually, 120 years after the first plans, the route of the canal was chosen.
In 1765 work on the Canal de Bourgogne starts under the supervision of Louis XVI. Constuction started on the side of the Yonne, working upstream towards the village Tonnere. These costs would be paid by the state. The States of Burgundy were responsible for the Burgundy side of the Sane towards Dijon.
But soon the construction of the Yonne side fell behind schedule and a lack of money stopped all work in 1793. But the Burgundian States continued and the canal was completed between Dijon and Sane. On December 14, 1808, the first cargo ships entered the port of the city.
Work was yet again abandoned during the French Revolution and even Napoleon the first could not restart the project.
Only in 1822, after a loan of 25 million francs 3.8 million euros, digging of the canal continued. Finally, on December 28, 1832 the first boat crossed the summit of the canal by passing through the 3333 m long tunnel of Pouilly.