The Borenshult Locks
Formal name: Minnets fem slussar (the Five Locks of Memory), probably a reference to the memory of Baltzar von Platen.
Year of construction: 1823-1825
Technical facts: The total rise of this flight of locks is 15.3 metres. The lock gates were made hydraulic and electrified in 1969-70.
The Borenshult locks form the second largest flight of locks on the Göta Canal. They consist of five connected locks and are a major tourist destination in Motala. In the middle lock, two men have inscribed messages for posterity. On the northern side of the lock, an inscription reads “Byggmästare (Head of Construction) W Barack”, whilst the one on the southern side reads “Arbetsledare (Supervisor) And Sohlén”.
The lock keeper’s house on the northern side is a stone building, built at some point in the 1820’s. It originally had two apartments with a shared kitchen. Many lock keepers have lived here and one of them was Carl August Nordqvist. He relocated from the Hulta lock in 1874 and continued to work in Borenshult until his death in 1898.
One of Sweden’s first railroads ran from Motala to Borenshult, established during canal construction to transport soil. The rail cars were drawn by horses, which made transportation immensely smoother and quicker than it would have been, had the workers used wheelbarrows instead.