Stretching along the canal du Centre, the very existence of the quaint village of Ecuisses is intrinsically linked to the history of the inland waterway.
The canal that connects the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea passes through the cut-off point of Longpendu, delimiting the waters of the Atlantic and those of the sea, and crosses bucolic Burgundy.
True technical marvel of canal engineering at the time, builders of the canal made it possible to move a boat uphill and downhill with the help of 7 locks spread over a little more than 850 meters. 3 locks of the water staircase were later closed when the gabarit Freycinet European regulation was passed on locks and bigger ships were allowed on this canal at the end of the 20th century. Today, watching leisure boats go up or down these 4 remaining locks lined up one after the other is an amazing display of heritage from the past.
In the same period, two ceramic factories were established in Écuisses, speeding up its economic growth. Many residences, still to be seen today bear witness to the booming industrial activity. The Villa Perrusson is one of the finest showcase of local ceramic art and industrial expertise in earthenware. Open to the public in spring and summer time, guided tours of the park and the restored outdoor architecture of the Villa provide an insight into life and the flourishing industrial activities in the Ceramic Valley at the time.
From the village of Écuisses, the former canal towpath was converted into a secured traffic-free green way leading to the town of Saint-Julien-sur-Dheune. Whether by bike or on foot you will enjoy this peaceful journey along the canal du Centre, occasionally stopping at locks or to contemplate the scenery.
For a sneak peek into ceramic heritage and local know-how, take a little cultural break in Écuisses on your way!