Volga-Don Canal

Volga-Don Canal is linking the lower Volga River with the Don River at their closest point in southwestern Russia. The canal runs for 101 km / 63 miles. There are 13 locks along its route, which drops 88 meters / 289 feet to the Volga and 44 meters / 144 feet to the Don. Three reservoirs – Karpovka, Bereslavka, and Varvarovka – occupy 45 km / 28 miles of its length. First attempts to connect the Volga and the Don rivers were taken back than in the 18th century by the first Russian Emperor Peter the Great. The actual construction of today’s Volga-Don Canal began prior to the Second World War, which interrupted the process. Construction works continued from 1948 to 1952; navigation started on June 01, 1952. The canal and its facilities were built by about 900,000 workers. Upon completion, the Volga-Don Canal became an important link of the Unified Deep Water Transportation System of the European part of the USSR. The Unified Deep Water System of European Russia or UDWS is a system of inland waterways in Russia linking the White Sea (and the Arctic Ocean), the Baltic Sea (and the Atlantic Ocean), the Volga River, Moscow, the Caspian Sea and – via the Sea of Azov – the Black Sea (and the Atlantic Ocean).