“TheCeļotājs” –
Russian Tsar’s Remnants of Karosta Naval Port
Karosta Canal and its Breakwaters – ANNO 1894-1901
Lat: N56.54580, Lon: E021.00465
Oskara Kalpaka iela 125,
Karosta, Liepāja, Latvia
The Canal of the Liepaja Naval Port is a hydro technical construction that plays the key role in its life. It connects the internal roads, the shipyard and the depot basin of the naval ships. The plan of the Canal was drawn up by Russian military engineers P. Boreisha “1859-?”, S. Maksimovitch “1861-?”, S. Redko, V. Veselov and by the civil engineer F. Edelheim “1949-1921”. Construction was carried out under superintendence of the Chief Contractor I. A. MacDonald “1850-1906 and this deputy I. Korsakevitch “1849-?”. 
In May 1894, the construction works began and was completed in 1901. Floating ground suckers, steam dredges were widely used. The biggest ones, “Kronshtadt” and Saint Petersburg”, were built in France Marsseilles” and their capacity was 60 cubic fathoms “271.m3” per hour.
Before the Canal was spanned with the swing-bridge a steam ferry plied between the two banks “see the decent on the right from the bridge”. In the northeastern part of the Canal, a basin for ships and submarines was arranged. It comprised two dry docks and a floating dock. All of them still operate today as a part of the Liepaja Shipyard “Tosmare”. On the opposite side of the Canal a heavy oil base and coal sites were erected. Construction of these structure units were carried out simultaneously with the Canal erection, as part of a complex plan. All this was designed for a Russian Submarine Base including a storehouse for naval mines. Later in 1932, the Liepaja Sugar Plant was built in the area making use of some of these naval structure units. 
The diggers found enormous of dolomite rock, therefore the direction of Karosta Canal is slightly turned to the right from the East direction which was planned at the beginning. The Canal is 3.5 km long and its width is 150 meters at the head and 250 meters at the eastern end. The average depth of the canal-bed is 9 meters. The project for the Canal and reservoir was to locate here 96 Battleships and 50 Carriers, almost all of the Russian Baltic Fleet. 
The breakwaters at the Canal entrance were also erected within the united construction plan. The length of the Northern Breakwater is 358.2 meters and of the southern 507.6 meters. At first, while the canal dredging was going on, the breakwaters were used as interim harbor piers. People called them “the New Holland”. Stone blocks from Finland, bricks from the Lox Brickyards in Estonia, cement barrels from Germany, wood and construction equipment were discharged here. When the construction of the Canal was completed the breakwaters became merely walls built out into the sea to protect the shore and the canal entrance of sand silts and the front harbor’s heavy waves.
Revised: 12/22/2012 16:58:00