Canal (Dutch: Albertkanaal, French:
Canal Albert) is a
canal located in northeastern Belgium, which was named for King Albert
I of Belgium. The Albert
Antwerp with Liège, and also
Meuse River with the Scheldt River. It also connects with the
Canal Dessel-Turnhout-Schoten, and its total length is 129.5
kilometres (80.5 mi).
1 Size and geography
Size and geography
Canal has a standard depth of 3.4 metres (11 ft) and
an overhead clearance of 6.7 metres (22 ft). To allow
four-stacked container traffic, bridges over the canal are currently
being heightened to allow for a 9.1 metres (30 ft) overhead.
The largest vessels that can use this canal are barges of just
1500-2,000 tons - much smaller than the ones on the
Rhine or the
Danube or the ones in the waterways of the
United States and Canada.
Antwerp and Liège, there is a difference in elevation of 56
metres (184 ft), and six sets of canal locks were needed to
overcome this difference. Five canal locks each have a lift of 10
metres (33 ft), and these are located in Genk, Diepenbeek,
Hasselt, Kwaadmechelen, and Olen, Belgium. The sixth lock at Wijnegem
has a lift of 5.45 metres (17.9 ft).
During most of the 1930s, before the completion of the Albert Canal,
it took about seven days to travel from
Antwerp to Liege by water. In
the 21st century, that same distance can be covered in about 18 hours.
The Albert canal near Smeermaas, Limburg
Cycling path along the Albert Canal, near Smeermaas, Limburg
The Albert canal near Kanne, Limburg
Canal was constructed from 1930 through 1939. The German
Hochtief AG worked on the canal between 1930 and
1934, but it was completed by Belgian companies. The Albert
used for the first time in 1940 but, because of
World War II
World War II and the
German occupation, intensive use only began later, in 1946.
During World War II, the Albert
Canal functioned as a defence line.
The crossing of the canal by the German forces and the destruction of
Fort Eben-Emael on 11 May 1940 was a milestone in the German invasion
During the Liberation of
Belgium by the Allies in September 1944, the
Second Canadian Division
Second Canadian Division was the first Allied unit to cross the Albert
Canal. The
British Army also crossed the Albert Canal
on its way north across
Belgium and into
The Netherlands and the U.S.
Belgium further to the east on its way to liberate the
rest of Belgium, and Luxembourg, and then proceed east to invade Nazi
Germany. Hence,
Belgium was liberated from the south
by three different armies, two of which needed to cross the Albert
In 2002, the canal carried a record 43 million tons of goods of
various kinds, amounting to more than half the Belgian waterway total.
The canal is also a popular leisure and cycling destination, with well
paved service roads on both sides traversing picturesque farm land,
particularly around Smeermaas, Lanaken and Maasmechelen. 
^ a b "Cycling Belgium's Waterways: Albert Canal", Gamber.net,
retrieved 10 October 2015
Coordinates: 51°04′03″N 5°11′27″E / 51.0674°N