"Suez Canal" Suez by seagoingJLW

Suez Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 56 photos

The Other Big Ditch

Count Ferdinand de Lessups had a dream...to "pierce the isthmus" in Egypt. In 1862 he took his designs and program and wrote to his old friend, the Dutch consul general to see if it would be accepted by Abbas Pasha who was the viceroy.

It was rejected, but the Fould family proposed to establish a bank at Constantinople, which gave him the opportunity to apply to the sultan. It was again turned down.

Then in August of 1854, an old friend, Mohammed Said, succeeded Abbas Pasha upon his death.

)On November 7, de Lessups arrived in Alexandria and was greeted warmly. When he eventually presented his plan to Said, the reply was, "I am satisfied and I accept your scheme."

The French and the English were against the proposal, but in 1855 a mixed commission determined it feasible and work was commenced.

There were many obstacles, especially from England. He appealed to Napoleon and was successful.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Direct connection of waterways
  • Cons:Hostile territory at times
  • In a nutshell:An amazing feat of engineering
  • Intro Written Sep 8, 2002
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