A shunt off of the Canal latéral à la Loire leads to Nevers’ port de plaisance. The port is about a mile from Nevers’ historic center on the far side of the Loire. Once this spur canal to the port continued further and connected the waterway to the Loire River.
Evidence of the original routing of Nevers’ spur remains. Just past the port de plaisance, locks once allowed boats to transfer from the canal to the river. After the locks were decommissioned public swimming pools were built at the site of the upper lock. (The lower lock remains overgrown but largely intact.) Today, the swimming pools have been closed leaving a passerby to wonder what will next be built on the site.
Regeneration in Nevers is not unusual. Nevers began its recorded history as a Roman settlement. Later it became the seat of a bishop and thus the location of a cathedral. It is a place that is full of history.
France has many places like this, well-situated attractive communes with interesting pasts. In the modern world it is easy to rapidly pass by places like Nevers on the way to other places that the consensus opinion says are more interesting.
(Wanderlust arrived in Nevers on the 20th of May. There are 60 kilometers and 14 locks between Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre and Nevers. In between we spent a night in Mareilles-les-Aubigny.)