The Marne-Saône canal opened to shipping in 1907. This 224 km long “Freyssinet” style canal links Vitry-le-François with Marcilly-sur-Saône, and enables vessels to sail between the Seine and the Rhône.
The entire route required a number of impressive civil engineering works – fixed bridges, swing bridges, footbridges, a canal bridge, and also a tunnel and a number of artificial lakes to ensure the required water levels. The highest point is also where watershed between the Mediterranean, the English Channel and the North Sea is to be found. This required the construction of a 4821 metre long tunnel (the fourth largest river tunnel in France) which actually passes some 50 metres beneath the church at Balesmes; and the construction of the four lakes in the surroundings of Langres. The canal passes through some very peaceful landscape, which makes this canal one of the most attractive in France.