Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal
Reference work entry
This is simply called the Grand Canal and is the oldest and longest man-made river channel in the world. This canal starts in Hangzhou in the south and extends to Beijing in the north. It passes through 5 major river systems, including the Qiantang River, Changjiang (Yangtze River), Huai River, Huanghe (Yellow River) and Hai River, with a total length of 1,795 km. Its construction began in 485 B.C., when King Fuchai of the Wu State excavated the Bang Ditch, diverting the Qiantang River from the ancient Han City (now northwest of Yangzhou City) north via Mokou (now north of Huaicheng, Huai’an City) into the Huai River. The Hong Ditch was excavated in 361 B.C. during the Wei Dynasty, and it linked the Huai River to the Yellow River. Large-scale excavation and renovation work on the canal occurred during the Sui Dynasty, and the Tongji Ditch was constructed in 605 A.D., which linked up with the Han Ditch in Qingjian in Jiangsu Province (now Huaiyin) from Luoyang via Kaifeng. In 608 A.D.,...
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