Masurian Canal

The Masurian Canal (Polish: Kanał Mazurski, Russian: Канал Мазурский, German: Masurischer Kanal) is an unfinished 50.4 km long canal connecting the Łyna River in Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia (a tributary of the Pregolya) and Lake Mamry, one of the Masurian Lakes in Poland.

Masurian Canal
Unfinished canal lock in Leśniewo
Masurischer Kanal Verlauf 001.svg
Map of the Masurian Canal
Coordinates54°19′16″N 21°28′34″E / 54.32111°N 21.47611°E / 54.32111; 21.47611Coordinates: 54°19′16″N 21°28′34″E / 54.32111°N 21.47611°E / 54.32111; 21.47611
Statusabandoned unfinished
Principal engineerAugust Hess
Other engineer(s)Otto Intze
Construction began1911
Start pointŁyna River
End pointLake Mamry

The Polish-Russian border cuts through the canal, with the southern section, about 20 km long, located in Poland, and the remainder in Russia. There are ten locks on the canal, five in each country, designed to handle boats up to 7.7 metres (25 ft) wide, 45 metres (148 ft) long, with a draught of 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in).

The canal's purpose was to spur the economic development of Masuria. Construction began in 1911 but was interrupted by World War I, was resumed in the 1920s – since Russian trade ceased after the October Revolution – and again in the 1930s. The project was finally terminated by World War II, with no attempt to finish the canal afterwards.[1]



  1. ^ Turnock, David (2006). Eastern European Economy, 1800-2000: Stages of Transformation in a Peripheral Region. Routledge. p. 219. ISBN 0-203-48622-6.

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