1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Göta
GÖTA, a river of Sweden, draining the great Lake Vener. The name, however, is more familiar in its application to the canal which affords communication between Gothenburg and Stockholm. The river flows out of the southern extremity of the lake almost due south to the Cattegat, which it enters by two arms enclosing the island of Hisingen, the eastern forming the harbour and bearing the heavy sea-traffic of the port of Gothenburg. The Göta river is 50 m. in length, and is navigable for large vessels, a series of locks surmounting the famous falls of Trollhättan (q.v.). Passing the abrupt wooded Halleberg and Hunneberg (royal shooting preserves) Lake Vener is reached at Venersborg. Several important ports lie on the north, east and south shores (see Vener). From Sjötorp, midway on the eastern shore, the western Göta canal leads S.E. to Karlsborg. Its course necessitates over twenty locks to raise it from the Vener level (144 ft.) to its extreme height of 300 ft., and lower it over the subsequent fall through the small lakes Viken and Botten to Lake Vetter (q.v.; 289 ft.), which the route crosses to Motala. The eastern canal continues eastward from this point, and a descent is followed through five locks to Lake Boren, after which the canal, carried still at a considerable elevation, overlooks a rich and beautiful plain. The picturesque Lake Roxen with its ruined castle of Stjernarp is next traversed. At Norsholm a branch canal connects Lake Glan to the north, giving access to the important manufacturing centre of Norrköping. Passing Lake Asplången, the canal follows a cut through steep rocks, and then resumes an elevated course to the old town of Söderköping, after which the Baltic is reached at Mem. Vessels plying to Stockholm run N.E. among the coastal island-fringe (skärgård), and then follow the Södertelge canal into Lake Mälar. The whole distance from Gothenburg to Stockholm is about 360 m., and the voyage takes about 2½ days. The length of artificial work on the Göta canal proper is 54 m., and there are 58 locks. The scenery is not such as will bear adverse weather conditions; that of the western canal is without any interest save in the remarkable engineering work. The idea of a canal dates from 1516, but the construction was organized by Baron von Platten and engineered by Thomas Telford in 1810–1832. The falls of Trollhättan had already been locked successfully in 1800.