Locks of Fonsérannes

The Canal du Midi towards Béziers

During your holidays at the 5-star campsite Les Mimosas in the Hérault in Occitanie, you will have the opportunity to visit Béziers with its Saint-Nazaire cathedral and its Old Bridge that spans the Orb. The coastal river that waters this beautiful city famous for its wines, its feria and its passion for rugby must however share the limelight with the Canal du Midi, the canal that allows to reach the Mediterranean Sea from Toulouse by river. In particular, with the 9 locks of Fonseranes, which allow the Canal du Midi to descend on Béziers and make up the canal's major structure, an engineering masterpiece that has become a tourist attraction for visitors over time. All around this site, you can admire traditional buildings dating back to the first years of the canal: the watermark, the stables or the lock keeper's house.

A lock, whose concept was invented in China shortly before the year 1000, has the main objective of solving the problem of unevenness. It also controls the flow of a watercourse or the effect of the tide in the dams. The 9 locks of Fonseranes are out of the ordinary because of their number, but also the technical feat accomplished by the man to find a solution to a difference in height of more than 20 meters, with a total of 8 egg-shaped basins and 9 doors. Its uniqueness explains why it is the third most visited site in the former Languedoc-Roussillon region (around 320,000 visitors a year), behind the legendary Pont du Gard and Carcassonne.

Since 1996, the locks of Fonseranes are listed as World Heritage by Unesco (as the entire Canal du Midi) and several parts have been classified as "historical monument".