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Shepherd Entertainment shows you to some of Korinthos’s history and shares the unique solution applied at the Corinthian
Channel regarding the bridge opening system that allows shipping traffic.
Korinthos lies 60km west of Athens. To save the trouble of sailing around the Peloponnesus Peninsula, a track was built in ancient times on which smaller ships were transported on horse drawn carts between the Aegean and the Ionic Sea. A section of this 10m wide stone paved road called Diolkos in Greek can still be seen at the Poseidon end of the channel. The Emperor Nero had already envisaged building a channel along this route for larger ships to pass through. However, his plan wasn’t realized until 1882 and that year began the construction of the Corinthian Canal which is 6.4km long, 80m deep and 23m wide at its narrowest point which was completed in 1893. Today, even vessels of 10,000 tons need not sail around the peninsula anymore. The citadel of ancient Corinth, its city center with the Roman agora is worth a visit. However, most of this once flourishing settlement was demolished by an earthquake in 1928.
There are several methods allowing bridges to open up or to twist away in order to allow the passengers ships. However, the solution applied at the Corinthian Channel is unique. Here, the bridge doesn’t rise, but sinks under the water surface. When the bridgemaster sees a ship approaching, he sounds the gong to announce that the bridge will soon close. Once traffic has stopped he can start the winches that lower the bridge. The ship passes and the bridge rises again, even 100 times a day if necessary.
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