The Suez Canal (also known as the ‘Highway to India’ for the link between Europe and the Asian continent it creates, is surely one of the technological marvels of the modern age.  It was opened in November 1869 following 10 years of construction.  Initially the canal was 164km long and 8m deep.  As demands for improvements mounted, the canal was lengthened and deepened to its current 193km length and 24m depth, which allows for larger cargo vessels to navigate its length.

Following the increase of trade that developed after the Age of Exploration in the 17th century, a need for a route between Europe and Asia that did not involve circumnavigating Africa grew.  It took many years for Egypt to grant permission for the canal to be built through their country.  It was one of the biggest construction endevours ever taken at that time.

Its impact on world trade was immediate and dramatic.  Along with the American transcontinental railway (which was completed 6 months earlier across the continent of America,) it allowed for the globe to be circled in a record time.

 

If you are interested in the Suez Canal, have a look at these websites:

http://www.touregypt.net/suezcanal.htm

http://www.rafimar.com/homepage/suez_canal.html

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