Moscow Canal

(redirected from Moscow-Volga Canal)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Moscow Canal


an artifical waterway connecting the Moscow and Volga rivers. The canal, whose construction was begun late in 1932, was opened on July 15, 1937. In 1947, in connection with the celebration of Moscow’s 800th anniversary, its name was changed from the Moscow-Volga Canal to the Moscow Canal. The waterway’s total length is 128 km, including 19.5 km through reservoirs.

The Moscow Canal originates on the right bank of the Volga River, near the town of Dubna and 8 km above the mouth of the Dubna River. A dam was built at this site on the Volga to form the Volga, or Ivan’kovo, reservoir, which is sometimes called the Moscow Sea. The canal extends southward from the Volga toward the city of Moscow, intersecting the Klin-Dmitrov ridge. Nine locks have been built along the channel. The Volga slope, extending from the Ivan’kovo reservoir (124 m above sea level) to the watershed race has five levels. The race has an elevation of 162 m above sea level. The Moscow slope has four levels.

In addition to the Ivan’kovo reservoir, other reservoirs have been created at Khimki, Kliaz’ma, Pialovo, Uchino, Pestovo, and Ikshina. Eight hydroelectric power plants have been constructed along the canal, the largest being the Ivan’kovo power plant. The principal landings are Dmitrov, Iakhroma, and Bol’-shaia Volga. The North Moscow port is located in Khimki. There are landings for short-haul routes in Pirogovo, Tishkovo, Khlebnikovo, Vodniki, Zelenaia Gavan’, and Solnechnaia Poliana.

The construction of the Moscow Canal solved the problems of supplying water to Moscow and of regulating the flow of the Moscow River. The canal has transformed Moscow into a large river port, connected to the White, Baltic, Caspian, Azov, and Black seas. The cargo consists primarily of timber, building materials, petroleum, food products, and industrial goods.

Structures associated with the canal consist of complex hydraulic and structural units. The locks, with their control towers and pumping stations, and the dams are sophisticated examples of engineering. Particularly noteworthy are the Karamyshev dam (architect A. M. Rukhliadev), lock no. 3 (architects V. Ia. Movchan and others), lock no. 5 (architect D. B. Savitskii), locks nos. 7 and 8 (architect V. F. Krinskii), and lock no. 9 (architect A. M. Rukhliadev).

Each lock is dominated architecturally by massive control towers, which are embellished with light decorative superstructures or sculptures. The walls of the towers are decorated with memorial plaques, Soviet government emblems, and bas-reliefs depicting episodes from the canal’s construction. Another of the canal’s important structures is the Khimki river terminal (architects A. M. Rukhliadev, V. F. Krinskii, and others), in front of which is a park with fountains (sculptor I. S. Efimov). Health resorts, houses of rest, boarding houses, and sport facilities are located along the reservoirs.


[Sobotovich, I. D. , and Sobotovich, F. P. ] Po kanalu imeni Moskvy. Moscow, 1962. [A guide book.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Moscow-Volga Canal was completed in 1937 as part of Joseph Stalin's second Five-Year Plan.
The Moscow-Volga Canal, for example, led to the relocation of 110 towns, the use of forced labour, and the deaths of approximately 28,000 workers.
Some of these will be known to casual students of Soviet history: the role of the USSR in the Spanish Civil War; the story of the Soviet pavilion at the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris; or the opening of the Moscow-Volga Canal. Others are more general pictures of everyday life and culture: Moscow as a construction site; Moscow as a shop window; a day in a Moscow factory; a day in a Moscow park.