Wall charts, history and European Identity

EU Culture Programme; Education and Culture DG

Inauguration of the Suez Canal 1869

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Dr. te Neues, Kulturgeschichtliche Bilder


Langes 19. Jahrhundert

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Dr. te Neues, Kempen

Year of publication:



European history   

The picture shows the inauguration ceremony of the Suez Canal. After having obtained a concession from the Egypt viceroy, Vicomte de Lesseps created the Suez Canal Company and in the years 1859-1869 constructed the Suez Canal, according to the plans of Alois Negrellis and financed by French capital. The inauguration took place on 17th of November 1869. The new direct connection between Europe and the countries situated along the coast of the Indian Ocean strengthened the world trade and the coastal shipping of Egypt. In the picture you can see the crowds at the banks of the canal, watching the huge steamships. Everywhere you can see the flags of France and the Ottoman Empire. You can further distinguish people from different cultures, European officers in uniforms, women in dresses and with umbrellas as well as Central Asian men with caftans, turbans and camels.