The Kłodnicki Canal complex in the Opole region, Kędzierzyn-Koźle
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The Kłodnicki Canal complex in the Opole region



Designed in the 18th century, the Kłodnicki Canal is one of the oldest ship canals in Poland.


The idea to build a route connecting the Silesian industry with Berlin surfaced already in the 18th century. Water transport seemed to be the best solution for the shipping of both raw materials (newly discovered and extracted in Silesia on a large scale) and finished products. Initially, the Kłodnica riverbed seemed the optimum solution, but it was too shallow and unstable. Hence, the decision to build a ship canal, supplied by the waters from the Kłodnica River. The design work started in 1788. After approval, the construction project was launched in 1792. The design covered the construction of 18 locks that would enable the transport of barges over a 50-km distance. The territory of today’s Opole region was accommodating a canal section with locks numbered 1-6; the rest of the water route was located on the territory of todays Silesian Voivodeship. The grand opening of the canal took place in 1822; a year after, all the locks were operative. Initially, barges were hauled by people; later, they were replaced by horses and finally by steam engines. In the years 1832-1834, Floodgate was built at the entry of the canal to the Odra River; over time, the lock areas began to be settled by the canal service staff (i.e. watermaster’s house). The first renovation of all the lock was carried out in the years 1877-1879 and of all canal-related buildings in 1909-1912. In 1937 the Kłodnicki Canal was decommissioned and was partly used in the development of a greater project of the Gliwicki Canal.


The Kłodnicki Canal was built almost parallel to the Kłodnica River. One of its ends was located on the Odra River within the limits of Kędzierzyn-Koźle (Koźle), while the other end was to reach Gliwice; however, after the discovery of coal deposits near Bytom and Zabrze, the canal branched towards Zabrze.

The canal length was 48 km; the difference in altitude - almost 50 m - was neutralized by 18 locks. The width of the canal was over 4 m. A section of the old Kłodnicki Canal has survived in the Opole region.

According to the preliminary design, the locks were made of wood. In 1815 Jeller took over the project manager and, together with his team, designed new locks. Except for the Floodgate, which connected the canal with the Odra River and was chamberless, the other locks were all similar. They were built on a rectangular plan closed with a thicker wall indicating the limits of the heads. They consisted of two levels (heads), a chamber and double gates. At each head, there were retaining walls reaching up to the canal edge. The preserved section of the Kłodnicki Canal is unused; its infrastructure is being gradually overgrown with vegetation.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 13-07-2015.


  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury - Kanał Kłodnicki-Karta Zespołu, Kędzierzyn-Koźle, Sławięcice, Ujazd, Niezdrowice, oprac. Z. Łabęcki, 1987, Arch. WUOZ w Opolu.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury - Kanał Kłodnicki-Wrota Powodziowe, Kędzierzyn-Koźle, oprac. Z. Łabęcki, 1988, Arch. WUOZ w Opolu.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury - Kanał Kłodnicki-Śluza nr 1/2/, Kędzierzyn-Koźle, oprac. Z. Łabęcki, 1988, Arch. WUOZ w Opolu.
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury - Kanał Kłodnicki-Zespół Stopnia II; Śluza nr 2/3/, Kędzierzyn-Koźle, oprac. Z. Łabęcki, 1988, Arch. WUOZ w Opolu.
  • (13.07.2015 r.)
  • (13.07.2015 r.)

General information

  • Type: industrial architecture
  • Chronology: 1792-1822
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kędzierzyn-Koźle
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district kędzierzyńsko-kozielski, commune Kędzierzyn-Koźle
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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