August Channel
Belarus, Avgustov

Augustow Canal is a navigable canal connecting the Vistula and Neman rivers. The length of the waterway is 102 km, of which 80 km are located in Poland, 18.6 km in Belarus and 3.4 km in the border zone. The reason for the construction of the canal was the introduction by Prussia in 1821 of a ban on the transport of Polish goods through the territory of Prussia, which blocked the access to the Baltic Sea to merchants. This situation led to the need to create an inland water route from Poland to Russian ports in Courland, bypassing Prussian territory. The initiator of the construction of the Augustow Canal was Prince Franciszek Xavier Drutsky-Lübeck, who at that time held the post of Chancellor of the Treasury of Poland. In 1824, the canal project was approved by the Russian emperor Alexander I. In the same year, construction began under the leadership of Colonel Ignatius Prondzinsky. During the November uprising, work was interrupted and resumed under the leadership of engineer Theodor Urbansky in 1831. More than 7000 workers were involved in the construction of the canal, 18 locks, many dams and bridges were built on it, the project cost is estimated at 14 million Polish zlotys. The opening of the August canal took place in 1839. The last part of the canal, which was supposed to connect it with the port of Vindava in Courland, was never built, since the railroad was used to deliver goods and goods. Wooden barges walked along the canal, transported timber from the Vistula to the Neman and back. During the First World War, bridges on the canal were blown up, some locks and technical structures were destroyed. In 1921, restoration work began, in the interwar period the Augustow Canal became one of Poland's main tourist attractions. Before the start of World War II, fortifications of the Molotov defensive line were built along the canal, during the fighting and the retreat of the Nazi troops several locks, bridges and dams were destroyed, the Belarusian part of the canal was most affected. After the war, the Augustow Canal was restored, in 1968 the best-preserved part of the canal - from the city of Augustow to the state border - was included in the register of monuments of Poland. In the second half of the 20th century, tourist life on the Augustow Canal began to revive. Beautiful landscapes, large forests, lakes, trips on a pleasure boat along the canal, canoeing and canoeing attract tourists from all over the world.