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River heritage

Water and river activity have had a significant effect on the Pays des Sources et Vallées. During the 19th century, the industrial revolution provoked a real rush towards the water, and it was then that the villages of Longueil-Annel and Pont-L'Evêque became important river ports.

The Boatmen’s Village – a different look at the canal!

At Longueil-Annel what immediately strikes you is the sight of all these brick-built houses lined up with each other as though they were wanting to look at their reflection in the canal. It’s almost like a little Venice!

You feel a "Simenon-type" atmosphere in this typical sailors’ community, where barges glide along without a ripple. A real barge! There is an authentic Freycinet barge moored beside the canal to visit in this Watermen’s Village. Come on board, and explore this imposing vessel that transported up to 250 tonnes of merchandise during its working life!

As for the boatman and his family, open the door of the house-museum opposite and you will find out more about this different life, this job where the  values of solidarity and respect for others reigned.

Through the audio books, you can listen to the watermen talking to you.

Then? Have a stroll along the banks – perhaps you will see a few grey herons and will find the lock with the sound of its foaming waters!

Oh – one last piece of advice: during the walk, always wave to passing boats. It’s one of the waterman’s 10 commandments, and he will always wave back!

Jousting

Jousting still takes place on the canal at Longueil-Annel. The nautical joust is a sport where two men, each balancing on the platform at the front of his boat, fight a short but spectacular duel. This is a sport full of tradition and folklore, and the Longueil-Annel team of jousters take part in the French Championships!

 

The Boatmen’s “Pardon”

On the first Sunday in July, Longueil-Annel celebrates its watermen. They organise the Boatmen’s Pardon, where more than 7000 people each year come and watch the parade of  decorated barges, street theatre or traditional nautical jousts on the canal.

A very colourful sight!

For more information, go to the Excursions and Events section.

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Noyon. Sources et Vallées. Oise. Picardie.

Tourist Office
Place Bertrand Labarre
60400 Noyon - France

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