Suez Canal
The Suez Canal also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation
Water transportation
Water transportation is the intentional movement of water over large distances. Methods of transportation fall into three categories:* Aqueducts, which include pipelines, canals, and tunnels,...

 between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. The northern terminus is Port Said
Port Said
Port Said is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about 30 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal, with an approximate population of 603,787...

 and the southern terminus is Port Tawfik at the city of Suez
Suez is a seaport city in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez , near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, having the same boundaries as Suez governorate. It has three harbors, Adabya, Ain Sokhna and Port Tawfiq, and extensive port facilities...

. Ismailia
-Notable natives:*Osman Ahmed Osman, a famous and influential Egyptian engineer, contractor, entrepreneur, and politician, was born in this town on 6 April 1917....

 lies on its west bank, 3 km (1.9 mi) north of the half-way point.

When first built, the canal was 164 km (101.9 mi) long and 8 m (26.2 ft) deep.

1854    In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is given the necessary royal concession.

1859    British and French engineers break ground for the Suez Canal.

1867    The first ship passes through the Suez Canal.

1869    In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is inaugurated.

1888    The Convention of Constantinople is signed, guaranteeing free maritime passage through the Suez Canal during war and peace.

1956    Following the World Bank's refusal to fund building the Aswan High Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal sparking international condemnation.

1956    Suez Crisis begins: Israeli forces invade the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal.

1956    Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.

1957    Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal after the Suez Crisis.

1957    The Suez Canal in Egypt is cleared and opens to shipping.