In the Cathar land, Castelnaudary was once one of the main port along Riquet's Canal du Midi
It's 7 hectares basin is a great harbour for all types of boats.
The European waterway leader in boats rental without licence, the Crown Blue Line has its headquarters in Castelnaudary.
The sightseer has plenty of original structures to discover like the XVIIth century Pont Neuf, the former port enclosed by a typical Riquet's bridge and many beautiful mansions lined the town's streets. Leaving the port you'll take the locks of Saint- Roch. Four successif chambers which carry boats across a difference in ground level of 9.50 metres.
Pierre Paul Riquet 's original plan had not planned for Castelnaudary to be on the Canal des Deux Mers route. But having profitability in mind he suggested to the city consuls to alterate the Canal's line.
On May 24th 1671, the agreement was signed and Castelnaudary happilly paid 30 000 livres to become a main stop on the Canal des Deux Mers. Prosperity came to town and in about a century time its population increases four- fold.
In 1792, less than 12 years after the opening to navigation of the Canal du Midi the town boasts 53 boat owners and the port was busy dispatching weat, flour, wines and lastly wood from the Arieges department.
In the XVIth century Castelnaudary was the only large port between Toulouse and Sète.
The 32 wind- mills of Castelnaudary produced 36% of the south west flour. Today only the "Moulin de Cugarel, entirely renovated, awaits your visit.
The Cybelle Island was built and planted with trees in the middle of the great basin to break the waves and give the barges an easier acces to the port. The Tramontane, a fierce wind that whistles from the west to the east, proved to be hazardous for shipping and it happened that empty barges ended up on the quays!.
The island for centurys was home to a host of open air cafés called "guinguette" and every Sundays people used to come and dance.
In the sixtys the guinguette were closed.
Les écluses à proximité
Écluse de la Méditerranée (7.6 km)
Écluse du Roc (6.9 km)
Écluse de Laurens (5.7 km)
Éclue de la Domergue (4.5 km)
Écluse de la Planque (3.3 km)
Écluse de Saint-Roch (1 km)
Écluse de Gay (2.4 km)
Écluse du Vivier (4 km)
Écluse de Guillermin (4.4 km)
Écluse de Saint-Sernin (5 km)