The Canal de Briare is one of the oldest canals in France. It is the first summit level canal in Europe that was built using pound locks, connecting the Loire and Seine valleys. It is 57km long and is part of the Bourbonnais route from Saint-Mammès on the Seine to Chalon-sur-Saône on the Saône River.
From Briare to Buges, the canal rises through the first 12 locks some 41 m (135 ft) and then falls 85 m (279 ft) through the remaining 24 locks.
The Briare Aqueduct carries the Canal latéral à la Loire over the River Loire on its journey to the River Seine in France. It replaced a river-level crossing from the canal to meet the Briare Canal that was hazardous in times of flood. Between 1896 and 2003 it was the longest navigable aqueduct in the World until the opening of the Magdeburg Water Bridge.