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Elbe-Lübeck Canal

The Elbe-Lübeck Canal (also known as "Elbe-Trave Canal") is an artificial waterway in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It connects the Elbe and Trave rivers, hence constituting an accessway from the Elbe to the Baltic Sea. It is 67 km long; the northern terminus is Lübeck, the southern terminus is the town of Lauenburg. Another town on the banks of this canal is Mölln.

The precursor of this canal was the Stecknitz Canal, built between 1390 and 1398, being one of the oldest artificial waterways of Europe. This canal connected the tiny rivers Stecknitz (tributary of the Trave) and Delvenau (tributary of the Elbe). It was a part of the Old Salt Route. The Stecknitz Canal was 85 cm in depth, 7,50 m in width and 11,5 km in length. The canal included 17 wooden locks of which the Palmschleuse at Lauenburg still exists.

In 1900 the ancient canal was replaced by the new Elbe-Lübeck Canal. Partially it was laid out in the beds of the Stecknitz, the Delvenau and the old canal. The new canal was generally straightened, consequently reducing the passage Lauenburg - Lübeck from 94 to 67 km in length.