Canal du Midi "Grand Site de France" – Béziers, Hérault, Occitania
Built in the 17th century, the Canal du Midi is a technological prowess nestled in a natural area being preserved as a vector for multi-secular farming and commercial development, and as a place for leisure activities and contemplation. The new generation of trees illustrates the recent replanting effort following the ravages of the Ceratocystis platani
fungus. © Sandra Bérénice Michel / Atmosphère sauvage
From the edge of the towpath, the most famous waterway in the South of France, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, offers an exceptional landscape. This historic route, a passageway to Santiago de Compostela, is today a real place for living and sharing. The Canal du Midi is at the heart of the Grand Site project, a link between remarkable heritage sites to be developed in a respectful manner, such as the site of the nine locks of Fonseranes in Béziers. It is also a place for leisure, sports activities, relaxation and contemplation. It is easy to imagine being lulled to the rhythm of the calm water, from lock to lock, and being won over by the tranquillity and beauty of the landscape. Following the destruction of the plane trees by a fungus, the Canal is adorned with a new generation of trees, symbolising a rebirth and a new cycle. The work carried out on the 241 km of the Canal by Voies Navigables de France, the State and the various public and private managers to replant different species in sections has made it a place of experimentation and innovation in terms of landscape design, a place that has recently been fully protected as a listed site.