Piast Canal

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Landsat satellite photo showing the canal in centre bottom

The Piast Canal (German: Kaiserfahrt, Polish: Kanał Piastowski) - is a canal that connects the Oder Lagoon with the Baltic Sea, more exactly with the northern part of the Świna river. The eastern part of the river is bypassed, providing a more convenient south-north connection for large ships.,


The canal, approximately 12 km long and ten metres deep, was dug during the time of the German Empire between 1874 and 1880, during the reign of the first Kaiser Wilhelm (1797-1888). Thus it was not named after his grandson Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) who was famous for his interest in seafaring and battleships. Baptized as Kaiserfahrt ("Emperor's Way"), the canal allowed ships from the Baltic Sea to reach the industrial city of Szczecin more easily.

The canal circumvented the eastern branch of the Swine river which was very difficult to navigate. The resulting benefit to shipping between the Baltic Sea and Stettin (Szczecin) saw the ascendancy of the port of Stettin and a decline in the port of Swinemünde, because now ocean-going ships could sail as far as Stettin. Another side effect was that the eastern part of the island Usedom was cut off, creating an island that was named after its largest village, Kaseburg (Karsibór). On the other hand, the railway line, opened in 1875, from Berlin to Swinemünde over the bridge near Karnin (blown up in 1945), helped to promote Swinemünde and its neighbouring villages as seaside resorts.

After World War II, the area became part of Poland under border changes promulgated at the Potsdam Conference, and the canal was renamed after the Piast dynasty - the first Polish royal dynasty.


External links[edit]

  • [1] Piast Canal pictures

Coordinates: 53°50′02″N 14°18′11″E / 53.834°N 14.303°E / 53.834; 14.303