The territory of Pontivy Community has a rich and varied heritage, notably made up of locks and lock keepers' houses all along the canals! But why do we find all these locks and houses here? 

It all starts with Napoleon Ier who decides on the canalization of the river The Blavet and the construction of canal from Nantes to Brest early 19the century. Its goal was to supply its troops, blocked at military ports by the English army. Finally, Napoleon III completed the construction work. The canals will not have been used for military but commercial purposes.

In order to navigate these canals, locks had to be built to allow the passage of barges and barges. But who was responsible for opening and closing these locks? The lock keepers! They occupied the lock keepers' houses with identical architecture all along the Nantes to Brest canal, to be close to the locks. Some looked after several locks, others just one. 

Today, navigation on these canals is mainly tourist. It is no longer possible to connect Nantes to Brest since the construction of the Guerlédan lake dam, which cuts off this river traffic. Our territory has the particularity of having 52 locks spread over only 20 km for a total of 238 locks on 364 kilometers of canal from Nantes to Brest. This feature offers a unique landscape to the canal: lock ladders! To pass through the locks throughout our territory, allow no less than 2 days of navigation, giving you time to admire what surrounds you.

Useful information

From now on, to pass these locks, you must contact the lock keepers in the region who travel to open and close them, they no longer live there.

The lock houses were abandoned for many years. The region wishes to rehabilitate several of them. This is why in some of them such as the House of the canal and the land, you can ask for tourist information or even participate in a dramatized visit ! Others welcome you to sleep there or even visit an exhibition!

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