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Facts About Suez Canal

Suez Canal is one of the most interesting water bodies in the world.

It is an artificial sea level water body. It is located in Egypt.

It connects Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

It was opened in 1869. It took about ten years to build this canal.

It allows transportation between Europe and Asia.

This can be done without navigating through Africa.

Changes Over Time

When the Suez Canal was built it was one hundred and sixty four kilometres in length. Today it is about one hundred and ninety three kilometres long. This has been possible after a lot of changes and modifications. The depth is two hundred and five meters. The width of the Suez Canal is six hundred an seventy three feet. The canal passes through Ballah by pass. It is the largest man made canal in the world. It is maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA). There is a worldwide acceptance that this canal can be used in time of war and peace by one and all. It can be used by a commercial vessel or a vessel of war. This is irrespective of the country the vessel belongs to.

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Suez Canal Map

Suez Canal Map

Start of Construction

The construction started in 1854. It was only after approvals were taken from the Egyptian authorities. The basic purpose was to open a canal that will be used by ships of all nations. This will ensure that the time taken to finish the travel is reduced considerably. It will also decrease the cost of transportation. The job was done by thirteen experts from seven countries. Negrelli was the company that was given the job of constructing the canal. This is a Paris based company. The Suez Canal Company was established at around 1858.

10 Years of Excavation

There was a major excavation that was needed in this project; the excavation took about ten years. The excavation was done by a group of forced labours. There were about thirty thousand workers who were employed in the job. One and a half million people were employed from all over the globe. There were many thousands of workers who died in the project too.

The World View

The British government was not in favour of the canal. This was mainly because forced labour was used in the project. Many countries of the world were a little sceptic about the project. They did not approve it. They also did not feel that this project would do as well as expected. It was belived that the fees to maintain the canal will be huge. It would be very difficult to spend that amount.

Finally Opened

The Suez Canal was opened on 17th November 1869. This was after a lot of political, technical and financial problems. The cost of building the Suez Canal was finally much more than the budget that was estimated. France was always in favour of the canal. They were the first nation that bought all the shares of the Suez Canal Company that was allotted to them. The Suez Canal was opened by the Ismail of Egypt. The first ship that passed through the Suez Canal was the yacht Agile.

The financial difficulties that were faced by the Suez Canal Company forced them to delay the work. This pending work could be completed only by 1871. The traffic in the first few years was relatively much low. This was nowhere close to what was expected. However, with time the effect of the world trade benefited a lot from the Suez Canal. This is exactly why it started becoming more popular. It is today difficult to imagine world trade without the Suez Canal. This canal indeed changed the way world trades for ever.

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