Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Meadow irrigation in the Queichwiesen between Landau and Germersheim

The agricultural technique of meadow irrigation is based on the sustainable use of water as a natural resource. Today, committed farmers, associations and foundations pass on knowledge through guided tours and interactive exhibitions. In this way, knowledge of nature conservation, of natural history and of biodiversity remains in existence.

Facts & figures

Crucial date: throughout the year
Inscription: 2018
Domains: Knowledge and customs relating to nature and the universe; oral traditions and expressions, traditional craftsmanship
Where to find: along the Queich, from Landau to Bellheim in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate

Contact

Community of interest “Queichwiesen”
Pirmin Hilsendegen
Queich-bew.ike@web.de

For more than 500 years, meadow irrigation has been of great importance to agricultural technology. Meadow irrigation takes place along the Queich, a tributary of the Rhine. Required knowledge and skills have been handed down from generation to generation since the Middle Ages.

Farmers and volunteers support the project of meadow irrigation. Participants strengthen particular knowledge the entire community benefits from, which is why these cooperative structures and the resulting cultural landscapes create a sense of team spirit and shared identity. The Queichwiesen and their irrigation have become a unique characteristic of the region. The region’s inhabitants as well as tourists grant increasing attention to this distinctive regional feature. Members of the community of interest cultivate the living cultural heritage, and therefore, represent interests of the entire region.

In addition to having good hay harvest for farmers, which is possible despite the absence of fertilization, the meadows offer an idyllic natural spectacle in the summer time. Before moving south, hundreds of storks gather in the meadows for summer irrigation. This phenomenon attracts attention among the population and tourists. Throughout Europe, there are various activities that promote traditional irrigation techniques. The community of the “Queichwiesen” strengthens cooperation in Europe across borders in order to promote the idea of sustainability and biodiversity, and safeguarding ICH.

Publication

Wissen. Können. Weitergeben..
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, 2017

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