On the Floriade’s terrain in Venlo a signposted trail has been created in the woods, leading past multiple cultural and historic treasures: thousand year old burial mounds, a medieval system of embankments, foundations of an old chapel and St. Janshoeve from the New Time. Until recently, these elements were hardly recognizable. Now this interactive trail makes it possible to see how the landscape has been changed by human hands in centuries past and is still changing today.
Similar to an archeological site, rectangular surfaces have been excavated in the soil. These planes have been shaped with shotcrete in which traces of the past have been modeled: eating utensils, weapons, tools and tracks of people, animals and carts. The planes seem to be congealed history. Upon each plane a large volume has been placed in the shape of a gate, table or telescope. The gates function as beacons and frame the view of the landscape. The objects accommodate multimedia applications. Through audio the visitor is directly addressed by people from the past – the peasant family, the pilgrim, the shepherd, the miller – as an encounter in the past. In two places an image of the past is created through animated drawings. There has been interfered with the landscape where necessary, in order to strengthen the historic image: corral and cattle trail have been cleared from vegetation and fitted with wooden rails, the original course of several roads has been marked and stacks of logs have been placed in the pit wood forest.
The walk grants the audience insight in the structure and use of the landscape over the centuries. Young and old can see and hear how people once lived together with and in nature. Even after the Floriade, when the terrain will be transformed into a high-quality eco-friendly business, the route continues to exist. This historic route will thus leave its own trace in history.
The project is a collaboration with Buro Lubbers, landscaping office.