Saint-Ferreol Lake and Revel
UNESCO Heritage List
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Saint Ferreol Lake is at the heart of the complex water supply system of the Canal du Midi, alongside with which is included in the UNESCO's World Heritage list.
This lake that has a surface of 68ha is an artificial body of water that contains 6 millions cubic meters of water. It is formed by the Laudot and Sor Rivers whose waters are collected by a dam built between 1667 and 1672 by the engineer Pierre-Paul de Riquet. The idea was to build a system that will collect enough water from the Montagne Noire to allow the navigation on the Canal du Midi regardless of season and the quantity of precipitations.
Surrounded by mild rolling hills the lake's shore is a wonderful walking place in any season. Walking on the top of the dam - built more then 300 years ago and still standing - will make you think of the genius of its builder and of his incredible idea of building a water highway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Every 20 years - but some say for the last time this year 2017 due to technological advencements - the lake is drained to replace the valves and reinforce the dam. The drainage uncovers a "lunar" like scenery in the middle of Lauragais region and one can observe the 21 meters tower built near the dam in the late 18th century for the measurement of the lake's level.
Just 4 km North West of the lake is the "bastide" of Revel - a town of 10,000 inhabitants founded in 1342 by the King Philippe VI of Valois. From the old medieval town there are still the central covered square and its belfry - Revel is famous for its Saturday morning market that takes place here, one of the best in France - and the bordering arcades.
On the west side of the central square there is the house that once belonged to Pierre Paul de Riquet, the Canal du Midi builder. Riquet and his family lived here between 1648 and 1660. During this time he was researching the hydrography of the region and planning the water supply system of the Canal.
The town of Revel has a unique in France "Wood and Marquetry" Museum. For more info about the museum click here.
It is dry now. They dried it out to clean it.