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Le Port de Courdault

The Port de Courdault just east of Fontenay-le-Comte is a hidden gem of the Marais Poitevin, it was created in 1840 and immediately  experienced intense activities. Being on the edge of the plaine it was to prove, as with all other ports of the marshes, a determining factor in the opening up of this territory.
The form of the sink (basin) at the end of the canal was that traditionally adopted for all ports on the Marais Poitevin.
"Gabarres" the commercial barges drawn by horses along the tow paths would arrive at Courdault for the export of limestone,lime, wood and agricultural produce and this trade continued up untill the 1950s, with the final closure of the port in 1960 with the closure of the last sawmill.
The basin is supplied with water from springs which is fed along stone aquaducts. The quay wall has replaced the original dock.

Today Caurdault is the departure point for ramblers and cyclist and for boats that want to explore the Rigoles and les Conches canals.

Maintenance is an ongoing necessity both from the upkeep of the canal banks and walls but also from nature. The later becomes more difficult as the years go by firstly because the trees that border the canals are not lopped as in the past, due to lack of dependence on the wood for industries such as ash handle for tools or willow for basketry or indeed for fuel. Secondly from weed invasion. The Jussis which was introduced more than a century ago in the south of France has invaded much of the terrortory and where as most of the major waterways are kept under control many of the sub canals are not.
There is a popular restaurant, l'Auberge Trou Vendeen, at Courdault.

View more photo of Courdault

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