The canal is roughly six kilometers long, and was built between 1880 and 1893 at the isthmus’ narrowest point. It was a strategic location. For this reason, a protective wall was built already in ancient times, near the end of the 5th century BCE. The wall, the Hexamilion wall, was constructed parallel to the today’s canal from the side of Peloponnese and was maintained up through Byzantines times to protect Peloponnese from invasion coming from Central Greece.
Today more than 12,000 ships pass through the canal every year.