And if Vauban had been a gardener

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Clou de jalonnement circuit Vauban


From garden to garden, these marker studs show us the way to go, with the Place Abbatucci as a start and finish point.

Garden of fountains

Source of inspiration

Ditches, underground canalisations… the art of fortifying also includes imagining hydraulic solutions, a science which fascinates me. To the point that I undertook countless and innovative preliminary studies for drilling canals or raising embankments, spillways, flood barriers and locks, not only for military means but to develop the waterways so as to promote trade within the kingdom.

But hydraulics can be rather complicated, especially when the King requested me to provide the water supply to the castle and park of Versailles by building the spectacular Maintenon aqueduct!

There is nothing of the sort like that here in Huningue except some pretty water jets which nonetheless reveal my passion for fountains and make young children squeal with delight!

Vauban jardinier : illustration Jardin des Fontaines


Huningue, from one port to the next

In 1816, the commissioning of the Huningue canal and numerous abandoned barracks from the former stronghold - perfectly exploitable as warehouses - gave the idea to build a large harbour establishment, able to attract Basel businesses who wanted to use this terminus.

But in 1830, docks, cranes, and weighing scales were still lacking whereas exports towards Germany and Switzerland were on the rise, thus intensifying merchandise handling and customs controls.

Péniches dans l'ancien port de Huningue

Activity was still growing on the eve of the First World War thanks to canal renovation work which increased barge sizes from 200 to 300 tons. The port reached its heyday in 1935 with nearly 7000 boats travelling through.

But it was a short-lived prosperity, quickly overcome by the increasing competition with railways and from the building of lock n°1, allowing barges to reach Basel which was working on its own harbour development.

The creation of the new trade port on the great Alsace canal and the disqualification of the Huningue canal to navigation in 1961 definitely marked its end.

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