Art on the hiking trail

NOTE: This Site is provisory. We are working on a complete English Version. We hope it´s coming soon.

Overview

The basic idea behind ARS NATURA is the establishment of art-paths along two hiking trails named X8, „Barbarossaweg“ and X3, „Wildbahn“. Both trails cross in the district Spangenberg in the center of Germany.

 

20 sections were opened since 2001. This means a total distance of about 240 km and about 300 works of art. Locally based artists, international artists, as well as art classes of local schools are involved. The artworks mostly consist of organic materials and their subjects are related to their locations.

 

In the “Gallery of Nature” the narrowness of a museum is overcome by spreading the artworks widely over a scenic area.

The idea

The basic idea of the project ARS NATURA is the creation of art paths along the long-distance trails X8 (from Korbach to Kyffhäuser) and X3 (from Höxter to Bad Brückenau).

Recreation by walking and intensive artistic experience in the “gallery room nature” should work together, that’s why we planed to install a work of art at a distance of about every kilometer.

The artistic works, produced from organic materials, take their theme from the local nature and places, and are shown with their own specific surrounding landscape to their best advantage – interactions come into being.
In contrast to the narrowness of the museums, is here the landscape-related scattering the artistic presentation principle in correspondence to the character of the rural area.
Barbarossaweg and Wildbahn connect different landscapes and regions in four states.

From Höxter to Bad Brückenau, the "Wildbahn" leads from North Rhine Westphalia, across Hesse into Bavaria. The Babarossaweg connects Korbach with the Kyffhäuser in Thuringia.

The overall motivation of the project ARS NATURA is the thought of the immediate closeness of art to nature.
The following motives are joining in:

  • With art in the landscape important places and traces of human history are revived
  • Internalize experience of walking and cycling, to convey feeling for nature
  • Through selected sites, to illustrate the beauty and diversity of nature and the region
  • To make the connection between culture and tourism shapable and tangible
  • To give states and regions connecting artistic and cultural impulses

 

Getting Started

The Hessian destination Heiligenberg between Felsberg and Melsungen seemed very suitable to test the force of attraction of an art path.

The art trail, opened on 15 September 2001, on which 15 art works over 3 km can be found, has proven to increase the attractiveness of the place.

Both the Heiligenberg organization and the local restaurants reported a huge increase in visitor numbers.
Because the Heiligenberg is a conservation area with accordingly strict usage requirements, here was implemented a concept, that based essentially on the idea of impermanence. Therefore, one can observe, how some of the works again quietly pass into nature.

In the following time, the cities Felsberg, Melsungen, Spangenberg, Fritzlar and the Community Bad Zwesten  were very interested in the expansion of the Babarossaweg into an art trail and supported the realization of our idea with financial participation and with their successful applications for support from Hessian state funds.
The project is also supported by the EU within the funding under Objective 2 of the European Structural Funds.

In cooperation with the Schwalm-Eder-Kreis, the tourist service Kurhessisches Bergland and the cities and towns and with the support of the local businesses many more sections were opened.

Trail Sections

20 sections were opened since 2001. This means a total distance of about 240 km and about 300 works of art. Locally based artists, international artists, as well as art classes of local schools are involved. The artworks mostly consist of organic materials and their subjects are related to their locations.

 

The descriptions of the sections are not complete yet, stand 2010

From the Metzebacher Höhe in the Gemarkung Spangenberg on the X3 about the Alheimer to Rotenburg

X3 Section 5

Even the Metzebacher Höhe at which one enters the circle Hersfeld-Rotenburg, is known for its fabulous views. You have a wonderful view of the Alheimer, the second-highest peak of the Stölzinger overburden and in the distance to the Eisenberg in the Knüll.

Therefore, the works of art are of course under the motto "Weitblick" in English "farsightedness".
They are also focus on other aspects of the term. The closeness to the nature and sustainability play an important role. Also the visual artworks implement scientific, philosophical and even religious reflections. While some of them playful ease and elegance intercede, others stimulate to profound observations, because to the farsightedness always belongs the distance and therewith the unknown and uncertain, to that one we searchingly get closer.

"GuRu": Trail around Gudensberg

X8 Section 11, X8b

The Chattengau, in whose middle Gudensberg lies, is rich in mountains, around which fairytales and legends entwine. Across from the Gudensberger Schlossberg you can find a special basalt camber – the Odenberg. Here should once emperor “Karl der Große” searched for water with his thirsty army after a battle in the Odenberger Feld. As Karl's horse is reared and beat with his hoofs on the rocks, gushed out from this a clear fount, still called Glissborn.


The tracks of the hooves are allegedly still visible in a stone. At first this should be in the Karlskirche at Odenberg, today it should immure in the high graveyard wall underneath the church St. Margarethen. In his 1835 published German Mythology Jacob Grimm expressed this saga for the first time (p. 890). But not only for his clear  fount is the Odenberg known. He is also the mountain with the blue wonder flower. Whoever finds it, be bestowed by the emperor Karl untold treasures. Thereof Jacob Grimm speaks in the German mythology too (p. 544). He reports that the blue flower only grows in the Johannisnight, that probably most mystical night of the yearly, namely the summer solstice or just all hundred years.


The blue flower, a central symbol of the romanticism, is the motto of this Ars Natura loop road. She stands for craving, love and metaphysical pursuit after the infinite one. In the 1802 from Novalis published roman "Heinrich von Ofterdingen" the hero dreams of a blue flower, which filled him with an unknown longing. She lies in the middle of other flowers and is the only one, which is light blue. In this flower floats a tender face, the novel deals with the poetic way of human inward and at the same time into the infinity.
Blue is the color of boundless things - the color of water and the color of the sky.
In the distance skies and earth meet - it is not any longer recognizable, where the one begins and the other one ends. Water reflects the sky, so that you can see one in the other one.
The color of distant mountains is blue, those are colored by the air. So are the blue mountains like the blue flowers a symbol for the longing.
More detailed information about the trail and whose course are available on the website of the City Gudensberg. You can also download a map.

Spangenberg – The round

From Spangenberg on the X3, through three valleys and villages to X8 and on these back to Spangenberg

Since 2010, Spangenberg has an attraction more. In the local subdistrict, the trails X3 and X8 not only cross. An Ars Natura way across the local parths Vockerode-Dinkelberg, Pfieffe and Herlefeld connect now also these two trails to the Spangenberg round.

Three valleys with unbelievable views are to hike through, there are ten works to discover at the edge of way.
Already the Metzebacher Höhe is for the incredible prospect well-known. From the edge of forest you have a marvelous view of the Alheimer, the second highest peak of the Stölzinger mountains and in the distance to Eisenberg in the Knüll. The ARS NATURA art works are also due to the fantastic views under the theme "farsightedness". They focus on very different aspects of the term, whereat ecology and sustainability play an important role.

Bad Wildungen - From Helenental in Bad Wildungen to the Dülfershof

X8 Section 10

 

Paradise found - is the title of the State Garden Show Hesse 2006 in Bad Wildungen.
ARS NATURA also reflected the for more than 4000 years traditional idea of the enclosed, bounded garden under the title „Paradiesisches“ on the route which leads from the edge of Bad Zwesten and Bad Wildungen and then through the park in Bad Wildungen up to the Wandelhalle (foyer of the spa).
"Irritation in Paradise" we have called the connecting line, from Helenental in Bad Wildungen to the Dülfershof. Paradise-like could describe the landscape – one of the few natural forest areas in Germany can be found in the Naturpark Kellerwald-Edersee, which surround the spa Bad Wildungen.

Nevertheless we may not forget, that the nature, so often seen as the "Garden of Eden", at some places has serious man-made problems. Contaminated waters, polluted air, habitats destroyed by roads and global warming are just some of them. Even if in the countryside of the Kellerwald something like this is hard to grasp. The artistic reflection of the definition of irritation relates therefore in this environment not only to the disturbance of nature by humans, but more to a disbelief in perfect harmony and breaking the retracted structures of perception in favor of creativity. "The modern man asks ironically, what Adam and Eve would have done in the garden of Eden all the time, if they not been driven out by the incident with the fatal apple into real life“(Heinrich Krauss 2004).

Lohfelden - Schusterpfad

X3 Section 4

 

The path over the hills to Spangenberg was, in the middle ages, part of one of the important routes out of the Kassel basin toward the southeast.  The swampy flood plains were not usable by traffic. It was the thoroughfare for traders and businessmen, but also in more recent times a strategically important connection between the royal seat Kassel and Spangenberg. It continued from there to Nuremberg and Regensburg or via the transportroute “Durch die langen Hessen” to Leipzig.

In the middle of 17th century, roads were built on the flood plains, and the hill routes fell into disuse. As a path, on which weavers and shoemakers carried their wares from Spangenberg to Kassel until the end of the 19th century, the “Schusterpfad” is still visible today. It is part of the main hiking trail X3, the “Wildbahn”.  
(Part of the text of an information board in Lohfelden)
Ars Natura has taken the theme of the old “Schusterpfad” and installed eight interesting works depicting trade and handicraft as a gallery in the nature.

documenta-Town-Kassel

X3 Section 3


Along the river: Even in the city the sensitive dialog between art and nature breaks new ground.
The path leading through the renatured idyllic banks of the Wahlebach as well as right and left along the Fulda, offering wonderful views of the river, the valley and the town center, creates a relation between the artistic works – metaphoric or direct- and the regenerative and meditative forces and also the dangers of flowing water and flowing motion which sometimes can be surprisingly stormy.


One becomes aware of life at and with the river. The path which once lead past the Orangerie was moved to the right bank not just for the fantastic panorama which the town center offers from the other side of the river, but also to realize an own quiet nature-art trail beside the traditional documenta terrain.

From Melsungen-Kehrenbach to the Gemarkungsgrenze Söhrewald-Eiterhagen

X3 Section 2

 

Selecting the works at X8 in the range of  Melsungen, the center of attention was the thought of the encounter. Urban coined world of ideas and rural concretion forming here the two poles, between which the dialogue of artists and the art-interested public, of art and nature friends likewise results like the opening of the rural area for current artistic beginnings and steps to the parity of urban and rural culture.
Leaning against this topic developed in the expanded beech forests predominantly series of works, characterized partially by abstraction.

From Waldkappel to the Alpstein

X8 Section 9

 

“Magical forests “is the slogan under that at the Barbarossaweg three stages of the art path Ars Natura to be furnished and this is third of them. Because the X8 here over a longer distance is identical with that Frau Holle Way (Mother Hulda's trail), the artistic ideas revolve again predominantly around this mythical figure.
Her mysteriously fascinating duality - she is the heaven queen and underworld creature at the same time, has naturally a relationship with death and savage hunt, is goddess of the life, the seasons, the fertility - and her reception in the fairy tale as a good-natured and punishing lady, stimulated figurative as well as abstract creation. Beyond that shines between the trees a mysterious moon and stony clouds wait for their discovery.
Leafy and coniferous forest take turns on this distance. Both the view on the Alpstein and the view from its steep slope on the environment from Kirchhosbach remind one of outline landscapes in Flemish paintings.

Waldkappel – From the Großen Steine in Hessisch Lichtenau-Reichenbach over the Taufstein to Waldkappel

X8 Section 8

 

In the north Hessian mountain country are legends and fairy tales of robbers, fairies and witches pervasively, has nevertheless here also the fairy tale world of the brothers Grimm their origin. Mountain ranges with marvelously far views, dense fairy tale forests with deeply down-hanging branches are along the road at the Babarossaweg through the district of Waldkappel.

“Magical forests“ is the slogan of three stages of the art path Ars Natura at the Barbarossaweg.
This theme also applies to the path which leads through a seemingly enchanted forest from the Großen Steine over the Taufstein to Waldkappel. The myth of the magical forest is to be found in many cultures and historic ages and is always connected naturally to the world of fairy tales. Their reception takes place at several levels. For one the fairy tale is pure entertainment and the magical forest a symbol of escape from reality. Another is in turn susceptible to these worlds inherent initiation structure.  Initiation is not an exclusive practice of people in traditional societies, but is bound to the human condition, in the case of the magic forest it is directly nature related. What combining hiking in nature with the inspiration of the individual works of art can initiate remains very open and exciting in every case.

From Kehrenbach over Spangenberg to Metzebacher Höhe

X3 Section 1

 

Spangenberg is embedded in densely wooded hills. The Knights of Treffurt placed on the important trade route through the long Hesse in the 13th Century the parties to Spangenberg. In the 14th Century acquired the Landgrave of Hesse Castle, city and department. Under Otto dem Schützen, the castle was extended and developed as a hunting lodge. The Landgrave, "used the noble art of hunting with hounds used and horse, hunting horn, crossbow and Saufeder”. With its moat, wooden drawbridge and the castle gate the building corresponds with the expectations of an old castle, but today is home to a stylish hotel. Its international, light cuisine offers traditional specialties as venison.

The story of the people cannot be separated from the history of the landscape. Also, the relationship of man to animal is characterized by elemental links. The trinity of animals, humans and the environment as a central cultural and historical area of conflict is also on the X3, the wild, a focus of artistic exploration and design of the footpath that leads over long distances through forests and rich wildlife areas. In the district Spangenberg the X8 and the X3 cross and run over 3 km together. Since the city became the center of Ars Natura, a work of art was placed on the market place. While on the X8, the Barbarossaweg, one finds predominantly objects and installations, the works in the Wildbahn are clearly influenced sculpturally.

From the western border of the Werra-Meißner-Kreises up to the Großen Steine near Hessisch-Lichtenau-Reichenbach

X8 Section 7

 

The connection between the town "to the bright meadow"  (Lichte Aue) and the town "on wood" (Waldkappel) is emblematic of the character of the region in general. Gentle valleys and vast mountain forests are the home of Frau Holle's own charm. The landscape around the Hohe Meissner seems mainly authentic, villages have retained their rural character, in the town the region's resources continue to be processed - stone and wood products are important industrial sectors.
Environmental projects such as the reclamation of 'forests' and research on the use of renewable raw materials approaches a forward-looking relationship with nature.

In the footsteps of Frau Holle, the dialogue between nature and art develops by itself organically and cautiously. The pieces of art in the area are predominantly from the Hessian Lichtenau myth of Frau Holle  (Mother Hulda) inspired, but this figure is liable to a mysterious, fascinating duality that is reflected in the fairy-tale characters of the Gold Mary and Pitch Mary. Frau Holle is the queen of heaven and underworld being at the same time, and has a natural relationship to death and wild hunting, and is the goddess of life, the seasons, fertility.

The works guide the walkers past the ruins of castle Reichenbach and the historically important monastery church in the village up to the Großen Steine, a natural monument and prehistoric place of worship.

Trail around Bad Zwesten, Wenzigerode

X8 Section 6, X8a

 

As before, the careful dialogue between nature and art is groundbreaking. The trail offers wonderful views across the low mountains, dense forest landscape, where you meet old majestic trees, beautiful half-timbered architecture of the resort and the original nature of the Kellerwaldsteig. The mineral springs of the spa and the wooded surroundings of the Kellerwald continue the artistic focal point of the regenerative forces of nature and recreation close to the people. With a length of about 12 km, this ARS NATURA section is particularly well suited for day trips.

Bad Wildungen

X8 Section 5

 

Paradise found - was the title of the State Garden Show 2006 in Bad Wildungen, Hesse. ARS NATURA reflects the more than 4000 year old idea of the enclosed, walled garden.

Monastery gardens show us to this day the image of paradise - of an ordered, self-contained world. The highlight of this performance was the Baroque garden, with its separate compartments, geometrically clipped trees, flower beds in ornamental forms, accented by staircases, fountains, water features – an artificial entity wrought by man from nature.

As we get closer to the ARS NATURA coming from the southeast of the city,  we cross first a large forest area of the "garden" in the Baroque "Bosco", to finally get to park and garden show, where "Bosquet" - geometrically cut hedges and trees, little worlds for themselves - and "Parterre" - low beds of ornamental appeal - alternate.

Can this be an issue of cautious dialogue between nature and art? Presumably, if sufficient space is left for the principle of natural landscape, the pure nature, the ecological balance, the random wonderful view. One of the few jungle-like areas in Germany can be found in the Naturpark Kellerwald-Edersee, which surrounds the spa town of Bad Wildungen. But we measure our impressions based on the words of the Taiwanese writer Chao-Hsiu Chen: "When the birds sing and the flowers give off their scent, you know, how this can be paradise."

From Felsberg to Fritzlar and up to Bad Zwesten

X8 Section 4

 

As before, the cautious dialogue between nature and art is groundbreaking. According to the landscapes, history and resources of the region, this - longest - section is divided in three main points.

The level of the district Felsberg, large scale urban agriculture, often windy and in comparison with the surrounding highland almost close to the sea far suggested acting, artistic reflection of the energy production and in use.

Since the founding of the city Fritzlar was the work of the Anglo-Saxon missionary Boniface, who in 723 felled the Donareiche, a hallowed tree of the Germanic Chatti, the works here are mainly historically inspired, but the route takes you over the Büraberg where there is a Carolingian fortress with a monastery.

The dense forests extending from Rothhelmshausen to Bad Zwesten and the mineral springs of the spa town suggesting the thematic focus of the regenerative forces of nature and recreation close to the people - perfecting the artistically motivated crossing of the Schwalm-Eder-Kreis.

From Spangenberg-Kaltenbach to Spangenberg-Schnellrode

X8 Section 3

 

Spangenberg is surrounded by densely forested mountains. The Knights of Treffurt placed Spangenberg castle on the important trade route through the Long Hesse in the 13th Century. In the 14th Century the Landgrave of Hesse acquired the Castle, the city and the department. Under Otto dem Schützen, the castle was extended and developed as a hunting lodge. The Landgrave practiced "the noble art of hunting with hounds used and horse, hunting horn, crossbow and Saufeder". With its moat, wooden drawbridge and the castle gate the building corresponds with the expectations of an old castle, but today is home to a stylish hotel.
Meanwhile, international, light cuisine offers traditional specialties as venison.

The story of the people cannot be separated from the history of the landscape. Also, the relationship of man to animal is characterized by basic links. The trinity of animals, humans and the environment as a central cultural and historical area of conflict is therefore the main focus of artistic exploration and design of the footpath that leads over long distances through forests and rich wildlife areas.

From Heiligenberg near Felsberg to Melsungen and to Spangenberg-Kaltenbach

X8 Section 2

 

Selecting the works at X8 in the range of Melsungen, the center of attention was the thought of the encounter. Urban coined world of ideas and rural concretion form here the two poles, between which the dialogue of artists and the art-interested public, of art and nature friends likewise results like the opening of the rural area for current artistic beginnings and steps to the parity of urban and rural culture.
Above all, the open question is whether and how to deal with culture and nature without fundamental loss of authenticity and originality.

Felsberg - circular walk at the Heiligenberg

X8 Section 1

 

The cautious dialogue with the landscape and vegetation - the essential principle of Ars Natura, the art on the trail – takes a special form at the Heiligenberg, as the trail  leads through a conservation area, a very careful choice of materials for the production of art is needed.
Only nature-friendly materials such as wood, stone, clay and natural colored cotton fabrics were eligible. A part of this material is exposed to the natural decomposition. This process of increasing entropy is a natural process and also part of the art concept in this section of the art trail. This is accompanied by a constant process of change in art, which corresponds to the principle of impermanence.

The conditions of the chosen site suggest thinking about the question of what vegetation is in general. Where does it stand between man and matter? An ambivalent exoticism goes out of her, she is also an indicator of quality of life. Lush growth is associated with well-being, plant species richness shape the idea of paradise. And yet it was in Greek mythology  the goatfooted-Pan, who represented the crude unpredictable nature. On the one hand, this tension between nature and culture stimulates the artistic imagination, on the other the communicative encounter with vegetation and landscape is an ecological necessity.

CONTACT

ARS NATURA-Stiftung
Am Blaubach 5
34286 Spangenberg
Germany
Phone: +49 5663 1746


Your requests for tours and visits of the art trail are welcome. We look forward to talking with you.


send eMail

FUNDING

ARS NATURA is funded by the EU within the framework of the funding under Objective 2 of the Europ. Structural Funds.
funded by the Europ. Agricultural Fund for Rural Development under the Development Plan 2007 - 2013 (EAFRD), co-financed by the state of Hesse Ministry of Economics, Transport and Regional Development.

Nach oben   |   Drucken
© Copyright Ars Natura Stiftung