The Gota Canal (Swedish: Göta kanalen) is a Swedish canal constructed in the early 19th century located in Götaland (Gothia, Gothland, Gothenland, Gautland, Geatland), one of the three (unofficial) lands of Sweden. Geographically the waterway is located in the south of Sweden. The Göta Canal was officially opened on 26. September 1832. The original canal stretches from Mem to Sjøtorp. Nowadays the Gota Canal is the common name of the entire waterway and canals from Stockholm to Gothenburg (Swedish: Göteborg), through the major Swedish lakes Vättern and Vänern.
The Gota Canal itself is 190 km (118 mi) long, of which 87 km (54 mi) were dug or blasted, with a width varying between 7-14 m (23-46 ft) and a maximum depth of about 3 m (9 ft). The canal has 58 locks and can accommodate vessels up to 30 m (98 ft) long, 7 m (23 ft) wide, a draught of 2,8 m (9 ft) and height of maximum 22 m (72 ft). During it's course the waterway rises from 0 m amsl (above mean sea level) at the sea, up to it's highest level 91 m (299 ft) amsl at Lake Viken.
In conjuction with the Swedish archipelago from Stockholm to Mem, the Gota Canal from Mem to Sjøtorp at Lake Vänern and Göta älv and the Trollhätte Canal, a water passage is made possible from the Swedish capital at the Baltic Sea to Gothenburg on the west coast, giving access to the North Atlantic Sea. When the canals and locks was built and designed, one of the reasons was to avoid the Danish Oresund Toll, a paid duty to the Danish Crown from 1429 to 1857 for passing 'the sound', the strait that separates Denmark from Sweden.