First Stop: Town lock


Twelve historical locks can still be visited along the Finow Canal, but the town lock (‘Stadtschleuse’), built in 1831 and modernised from 2000 to 2001, is the oldest lock still in operation between the Elbe and Oder rivers. The locks of the Finow Canal, rebuilt in the 19th century, could take two ships simultaneously. This meant that the entries and exits were now no longer situated at the centre – they were at the sides instead. These locks were adapted to a new kind of ship: the ‘Finowmaßkahn’, whose maximum size was determined by a royal order in 1845.

To the right and left of the canal, towpaths can still be made out in some places today. Towing was done by horses. They pulled the ships – which did not have engines until the 19th century – upriver. This was a lengthy and monotonous business that was only interrupted when the horses were occasionally moved to the other side.