Moissac, along byways and waterways
For travel or commerce, Moissac is at a crossroads
Due to the construction of the Canal de Garonne (formerly Canal latéral à la Garonne), water traffic in Moissac has been lively since the 19th century. This prolongation of the Canal du Midi linked Toulouse to Bordeaux in 1857. The canal spans the Tarn thanks to the Cacor canal bridge; it counts 4 locks as it passes thru Moissac, one of which allows boats to rejoin the Tarn downstream.
Medieval Moissac already lived according to the rhythm of the water. The Tarn brought the town goods and in the 17th and 18th centuries, turned the wheels of its very active mills.
Of the 9 mills of yesteryear, 2 still exist in the very heart of Moissac: Today the Grand Moulin is a hotel and restaurant; the Bidounet mill was the birthplace of celebrated poster artist Firmin Bouisset. The Bidounet mill is now used as the reception for the municipal campground.
In 1930, severe floods ravaged parts of the city. The Tarn left its bed and took with it more than 6000 houses and 120 lives. This rare flood destroyed the railway bridge, necessitating the provisory re-routing of the railway over the canal bridge.
Little by little, commercial navigation gave way exclusively to pleasure boating and the Tarn and its basin is now a scene of relaxation and leisure.
A marina is situated in the heart of the city along the Canal de Garonne.
Today the banks of the canal have been turned into hiking paths, a nature trail and a bike path. Moissac is also a major stop on the Road to Santiago de Compostela.