Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
DUVIVIER, Benjamin: France, 1783, Bronze, 50 mm
For a brief biographical sketch of Louis XVI see the medal ‘CORONATION OF LOUIS XVI AT RHEIMS’.
The Central Canal (Canal du Centre, or Charolais Canal) links the river Loire (at Digoin) with the Saône (at Chalon-sur-Saône) in Burgundy, France. Construction was initiated in 1783 (the date of the medal) by Emiland Gauthey, who was Chief Engineer of Burgundy. The canal was opened in 1792 and made possible for the first time boat traffic from the north of France to the south.
The construction of such a canal was suggested during the 16th century, under King Francis I, and a detailed plan was prepared in the time of Henry II, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that building was actually begun. The canal now is 112 km long and has 61 locks, reduced over the years from an original 80 locks.