4. The Augustów Canal

The Augustów is a cross-border canal built in the 19th century in present-day north-eastern Poland and north-western Belarus (then part of Congress Poland and the Russian Empire). It is a navigable watershed canal, linking the Vistula River with the Neman River. It is a conservation protection zone proposed by Poland for inscription onto the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The canal was constructed for political and economic reasons. In 1821 Prussia unilaterally introduced repressively high customs duties for transit of Polish and Lithuanian goods through its territory, practically blocking the access to the sea for Polish traders operating outside of Prussian-controlled territory. In 1823-1839 a waterway designed by General Ignacy Prądzyński, French General and engineer Jan Chrzciciel de Grandville Malletski and General Jan Paweł Lelewel was constructed, including buildings and hydraulic engineering structures, intended to bypass Prussian territory and link the centre of the Congress Kingdom of Poland with Latvian ports on the Baltic Sea.

Information copied from UNESCO web site – http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/pl/