Grand Canal

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Grand Canal,

Chinese Da Yunhe [large transit river], longest in the world, extending c.1,000 mi (1,600 km) from Beijing to Hangzhou, E China, and forming an important north-south waterway on the North China Plain. The canal was started in the 6th cent. B.C. and was constructed over a 2,000-year period. Its largest sections were completed in A.D. 610 under Emperor Yang Ti of the Sui dynasty and were built by dredging and linking existing canals. Tree-shaded roads, postal stations, and imperial pavilions were built along the canal. Between the 10th and the early 13th cent. the waterway fell into disrepair. Kublai Khan reconstructed the canal in the 13th cent. and extended it to Beijing. Improvements were made during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Today the canal follows the Bai River south from Beijing to Tianjin; the 250-mi (412-km) section S of Tianjin ties into the Wei River. Leaving the Wei, the canal runs past Jining and through the elongated lakes of Shandong prov., then past Xuzhou and the lakes of Jiangsu prov. to cross the Chang at Zhenjiang. It runs generally south through the Chang delta, past Wuxi and on to Hangzhou, the southern terminus. The canal is 100 to 200 ft (30–61 m) wide and from 2 to 15 ft (.6–4.6 m) deep. Railroads, roads, and widespread silting have reduced its economic importance, but the canal remains navigable between Jining and Hangzhou and is a busy waterway S of the Chang. In the 21st cent. the canal N of the Chang has become part of the eastern route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, transferring water from the Chang to the Huang He and cities and provinces of N China.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grand Canal

 

(Chinese, Yün Ho, transport river), a navigable canal, one of the greatest hydrotechnical structures of China. Construction of the Grand Canal, which was based on a number of canals built as early as the sixth century B.C. (mostly in the seventh century A.D.), was completed in the 13th century A.D. It runs from north to south, from near Peking to Hangchou, intersecting the Huang Ho (Yellow), Huai, and Yangtze rivers. It is 1,782 km long (from Tunghsien to Hangchou; different information on the length of the canal is given in different sources). The Grand Canal system also includes natural waterways, such as the Pai River and the Wei-shan Hu lakes. The main ports on the Grand Canal are Yangchou, Suchou, Wuhsi, and Hangchou. The main cargoes are coal, grain, wood, and cotton.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Grand Canal

1. a canal in E China, extending north from Hangzhou to Tianjin: the longest canal in China, now partly silted up; central section, linking the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, finished in 486 bc; north section finished by Kublai Khan between 1282 and 1292. Length: about 1600 km (1000 miles)
2. a canal in Venice, forming the main water thoroughfare: noted for its bridges, the Rialto, and the fine palaces along its banks
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
| Our Great Canal Journeys: A Lifetime Of Memories On Britain's Most Beautiful Waterways by Timothy West is published by John Blake, priced PS20 Timothy West and Prunella Scales enjoy sailing on their canal boat, above
The canal originated in the mouth of the Qiantang River, where the King of the Wu dug the river to start the war on the Kingdom of Qi 500 BC, the river that his ancestor helped the king to build, the river that became the Great Canal of China a thousand years later.
"The Great Canal has been a dream for Nicaragua for many decades," said President Enrique Bolanos, who lent army helicopters to a commercial Chinese delegation to fly over the proposed route.
The Shanly brothers, Walter and Francis, were second-rank figures in the great canal and railroad boom in mid-nineteenth century North America.
They are the precursors of a new and different sensibility, and a new relationship of humanity to nature, brilliantly analyzed by Vincent Scully who argues that 'In the Italian garden, water is the awesome gift of the earth; in the French garden, water becomes primarily the optical medium by means of which the sky is reflected'.(7) Scully describes the great canal at Versailles where 'our gaze moves rapidly down the tapis vert, but when it hits the water it literally takes off.
Great Canal Journeys More4, 8pm Timothy West and Prunella Scales travel along the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal in a coastto-coast adventure from Edinburgh to Glasgow.
Great Canal Journeys: Asian Odyssey C4, 8pm The bad news is that eightysomethings Timothy West and Prunella Scales think it might be time to call a halt to their far-flung canal voyages - but the good news is they are embarking on one last great overseas adventure first.
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Scales, now 85, penned the foreword to West's new book, Our Great Canal Journeys: A Lifetime Of Memories On Britain's Most Beautiful Waterways, making reference to her condition.
MAYBE it's down to the success of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movies and the BBC series they helped to inspire, or perhaps its partly due to Prunella Scales, Timothy West and their Great Canal Journeys, but there currently seems to be a trend for a new type of TV travelogue involving sending some of Britain's veteran celebrities off on holiday together.