“TheCeļotājs” –
Liepāja City Sights in Courland
Home      Charter Boat View of the Trade and Karosta Canals
Charter Boat View of the Trade Canal and Karosta Canal – 
Liepāja Tirdzniecibas kanāls and Karostas kanāls 
Trade Canal – Lat: N56.5128312, Lon: E021.0143450
Vecā ostmala 43, Liepaja, LV-3401, Latvia
Karosta Canal – Lat: N56.5454145, Lon: E021.0045701 
Oskara Kalpaka iela 125, Liepaja, Karosta, LV-3405, Latvia 
Lets down our life jackets and climb aboard the "ČETRI VĒJI" Charter Boat and view both Liepaja Tirdzniecibas kanāls "Trade Canal", and Karostas kanāls "Karosta Canal" and its harbors. While heading out from the Trade Canal to what is called the inter breakwaters you can see ocean going cargo ships taking on cargo, while others are just tied up to the docks. Located along the north side of the canal "which is part of the Liepaja Sea Port" you can see logs piled up waiting to be exported and the large dock cranes. There is even a cargo ship taking on grain for export. As we head out to the bay area and north, we can see the west coastal area of the port and the many grain storage bins. Heading north and to the inter breakwaters area and the entrance to Karosta Naval Port Canal, you can see beacons located on the ends of the breakwaters. Now as we enter Karosta Naval Port, we can see the Oskars Kalpaks Bridge and as we head under it, you see the bridge spans and the equipment that opens and closes it.
Now that we have went under Oskars Kalpaks Bridge and heading east into the Karosta Naval Port area, you can see Liepaja petroleum storage tanks. getting close to the port area, you can see a dry dock and part of the former Liepaja Shipyard “Tosmare” ship building area that has two dry docks and a floating dock. As we turn north to the inter port area, you can see a couple ocean going fishing boats and in front of them is a cargo ship with its cargo cranes. As we turn west again, you can see a tug boat tied up. the small ramp leading to the waters edge is a small ship repair area. As we turn west, you can see the former covered submarine repair dock. If you wait a minute, we will head inside it so you can see it even closer. This covered dock was build during the Soviet Naval era to keep American satellites from seeing what Soviet submarine that were docked. Also located along the west side of the inter port, are docks and a dock jutting into the port water. As we head out from the Karosta Naval Port Canal area, we can see part of the Naval Port area. Also there are pilings for tying up ships. As we head back out to the inter bay area, and looking out to the Baltic Sea you can see the outer breakwaters and what was part of the outer coastal defenses. As we head south and back to the entrance to Trade Canal you can see the entrance breakwaters and the radio and radar towers used for  controlling the canal traffic. Now that we are heading back to our starting point, you can see fishing boats and the Latvian Naval boats moored to their dock area.
History of Oskara Kalpaka Bridge –
Oskara Kalpaka Bridge – is one of the oldest Latvian and Liepaja metal bridges built in 1906, is a technical monument. The bridge was designed by French engineer Alexander Gustave Eiffel and constructed to these designs. Located between north Liepaja New Town and Karosta Naval Port and crosses the Karosta Canal. 
It consists of two identical cropped spans, which each span turns 90 degrees on each side. The bridge was designed to use an electric winch to aid its operation and it takes 4-5 minutes to open and close. Over the life of the bridge it has been seriously damaged several times.
In 2006, the bridge’s northern part was damaged by a Georgia tanker flying the flag of "Anna." After the reconstruction Oscar Kalpaks Bridge works again today. Several times a day it is open to vessel traffic.
History of Karostas kanāls “Karosta Canal” –
Karostas kanāls “Karosta Canal” – is a man made canal and the building of the canal was started in May 1894 during Russian Emperor Tsar Alexander III Reign and was finished during Russian Emperor Tsar Nicholas II Reign.
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 “one can 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 amounts 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 3.5km 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: 06/15/2013 – 23:00:57