Garonne River - Natural Wonders Of Europe

The Garonne River passing through Toulouse in southern France.

5. Description

This is river in southwest France and in the north of Spain is also known as Garona in the Spanish language. It arises in the Spanish Pyrenees and flows into the Atlantic by following the way of an estuary called the Gironde. The river flows for some 374 miles through the countries of France and Spain. While on its course, it is joined by three major rivers, which are the Tarn, Ariege and the Lot. The other tributaries of the river include Save and the Gers and it is also known as the river, which exhibits the role of a tidal bore despite this that it has some 50 locks, and the jet skiers and surfers ride it for approximately 75 miles. The towns which are situated near the riverside are Bordeaux, Toulouse and Blaye.

4. Historical Role

The Garonne River is famous because of the Canal du Midi, which is a Two Seas Canal. Since the year 1996, it is being inscribed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is a famous cultural heritage for the Haute-Garonne. The Canal is a major engineering marvel in the area as its construction started in January of 1667 and was finished in the year 1681. It was actually built by Pierre-Paul Riquet and had a total length of nearly 240 kilometers. The Canal du Midi was used for transporting goods from the Laurgais plains until the year 1970 and is also known as a major tourist attraction. Moreover, one can discover the waterway sites in the countryside.

3. Modern Significance

Both the right and left bank of the river have remarkable tourist attractions and artistic discoveries too. The tourists can see the Abattoirs Museum which houses the famous monumental stage curtain by Picasso, La Grave, The Rampart, and the Hotel-Dieu Saint-Jacques, known for giving shelter to the paupers in the 12th Century and two of the museums here are dedicated to medical instruments and the history. Other famous sites which can be seen here are The Fine Arts Academy, Pont Neuf, The Embankments, and the EDF Bazacle Area. The town near the riverside is also known for vineyards as the most famous wines in the world are produced here. People also book the cruise journey and the tourists enjoy historic ports, fishermen huts, medieval underground ruins, and coach tours.

2. Habitat and Biodiversity

The Garonne River comprises of various species of fishes, which include potamodromous that occurs in the fresh waters, migratory fishes, the diadromous which is found in marine and fresh waters, and is further divided into two more species, namely the Anadromous and the Catadromous. These species come into the fresh waters for their breeding purposes.

1. Environmental Threats and Territorial Disputes

The river body has turned brown instead of being blue in the historical times due to urban intervention. There are many local nuances from the locals, which are witnessed in the past years. In the area near the Garonne Riverside, the nuclear plants are also among the biggest threats, as they are found to be discharging cooling water, which was 30° Celsius rather than the usual 24° Celsius of the river.


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