Interactive immersion in the romance of the Rhine
On the "William Turner Route", visitors can impressively experience the artistic work of the British painter and literally follow in his footsteps.
"Father of Rhine Romanticism"
The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is one of the most important cultural landscapes in Germany and, with its vineyards, hilltop castles, architectural monuments and winding towns and villages, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the 19th century, the region from Bingen to Koblenz has been a popular destination for tourists and the epitome of the so-called Rhine Romanticism, whose most famous works undoubtedly include the poem "The Loreley" by Heinrich Heine.
But there are other artists whose work has had a decisive influence on Rhine Romanticism. One of them is the London painter William Turner. The watercolourist is even considered the "father of Rhine Romanticism" because - inspired by his journey along the Rhine in 1817 - he left behind numerous important watercolours that masterfully capture the atmosphere of the unique landscape with its rugged rocks, play of light in the water and picturesque towns.
In honour of Turner and as an innovative cross-media opportunity to literally follow in the artist's footsteps, the "Zweckverband Welterbe Oberes Mittelrheintal" has created the "William Turner Route" based on an idea of the "Forum Ehrenamt". At a total of 26 locations, Turner's artistic work and the romanticism of the Rhine are brought out of the museum into nature in a unique way and can be experienced interactively.
HYDROTEC Technologies AG has supplied round floor panels for this purpose, which, as walk-in information panels, provide clues to the origin of the masterpiece created there and allow viewers to look through the eyes of the painter in an impressive way.
Bronze floor plates
The plates are cast from bronze and prepared in a foundry. In the process, the surface of the plate is finely ground (shiny metallic, bronze-coloured) and the base is patinated dark/brown, as are the footprints and the course of the river dark/black. The bronze plates are further processed at the HYDROTEC plant in Wildeshausen. Fitted with reinforcement and anchors, the slabs are placed in a stainless steel ring filled with concrete, which serves as a border. A matching yellow coating (RAL 1003) is applied to the concrete surface between the slab and the stainless steel ring, which is weather-resistant and non-slip. Finally, the special QR code made of enamel and assigned to each location is fixed to the bronze plate.
Walk-through information panels
The installation of the floor slabs at the selected locations between Bingen and Koblenz is carried out by construction companies on site. When set in mortar or concrete, the floor slabs can also be paved over.
With the help of the marked, recessed footprints, you can literally follow in Turner's footsteps and experience and enjoy the view over the unique landscape with your eyes, so to speak. The integrated QR code establishes the link to the respective painting by Turner and provides information on the work and location as well as on the background of the project. The panels, which have a total diameter of one metre, also feature Turner's respective sketches of the motif as well as an overview of all the locations.