Ecological hiking trail - Stop 13.1:
|The things we see are the same as the things that are inside us. There is no reality other than the one inside us.
In 1855, swimming in the Waldnaab at Fronfeste (district court building; since 1970 tax office) near the bridge was prohibited. But especially students did not keep to the new law. As a result, the Hahnenbach from the Orthegel Mill to the mouth of the Waldnaab was declared a bathing place for the youth. However, the town received several complaints since the area was also used by Weiden’s citizens for the roasting of flax. In 1885, the city council held that Weiden’s citizens had been using the Weber Baths ‘since time immemorial.’ The Weber Bath is a bend in the Naab river near the Town Mill (Stadtmühle). Numerous complaints of owners of the neighboring meadows tell us that, in 1860, there did not exist a bathing place. Unfortunately, the origin of the name ‘Weber Baths’ cannot be traced back. Around 1921, the Mühlweiher cubicles for a pool for women were erected but they were closed down in 1933. Due to the regulation of the Naab, the area was drained and completely transformed. In 1893, Weiden purchased the neighboring 0,664 large parish meadow for 200 DM from the “Bathing Committee”, which had made a profit of 600 DM. The cubicles were again reinstated and expanded. Carpenters working on this project earned 30 pfennigs an hour…
A permanent pool attendant was hired. If the water reached a temperature between 16 °C and 19 °C, a red flag was hoisted. A white flag designated temperatures of more than 19 °C. There were different pool opening hours for women, men, and children. Later, a wooden fence was erected to separate the men section of the bath from the women section. Still, the minister knew of heinous things and threatened to publicly denounce the names of the culprit…Some years later, a pool was added. In 1932, the pool was named "Town Naab Baths for Men", which was opened from May 15 to September 1. After shutting down the baths for women, the municipal swimming baths were expanded in 1933 and 1934. In 1935, the baths were named "Municipal Family Outdoor Swimming Pool". In 1941, a pool for children was put up and the baths were redesigned six years later.
nach Annemarie Krauß,
(Municipal Archivist in Weiden) et.al.
For many years now the area around the Naabwiesen or, as the locals call it today, ‘Stadtbad’ has been widely accepted by Weiden’s citizens. However, in the last few years many swimmers were put off by the increasing pollution of the Naab due to, first and foremost, excessive agriculture. Signs such as “Swimming at your own risk!” were put up and have not disappeared even after the water quality considerably improved. As a result, a lot of citizens went somewhere else for a swim. Nevertheless, some people still enjoy the numerous tranquil places that can be found along the river. In addition, a wading pool, the water quality of which had had to be checked several times a day, was completely renovated in the spring of 2004. Today, two high-grade steel pools for children and a connecting slide are the most thrilling attractions on sweltering summer days. Furthermore, you can find numerous barbecue sites, playing fields, a children’s playground, and a small restaurant, which is the site of the music and arts festival “Live from the Stadtbad” every summer. Since 1999, the “Association of Model Ship Builders Weiden” has used the Stadtbad as their headquarters. The children are particularly fond of the competitions and the model boat shows.
The "Stadtbad" runs slowly along the curvy riverbank of the Naab. The river itself is embedded in riparian softwood-land, the plant community of which has been significantly altered by humans. All rivers in Central Europe were once accompanied by riparian forests before man started to change the areas adjacent to rivers.
|Nature cares about her appearance. Only man makes nature unsightly.
Nevertheless, we may still find many birches and black alders there, which thrive best on most soil. Since their roots are most under or in the water, they have to cope with long phases of oxygen starvation. Oak trees, which are found in areas with a more dry soil, were mostly cut down. The riparian hardwood-land is still full of ash trees, maple trees, and European hornbeams. In addition, there are some trees untypical of this area such as the hybrid poplar. These poplars were planted because of their fast growth but, as times passed, became more of a danger than an ecological enrichment. Cutting down those trees requires a lot of effort since their falling down to the ground may cause serious damage. Another tree, namely the pollarded willow, is regularly pruned and, due to its rotten tree trunks, serves as a natural habitat for various insectivorous birds such as tits, winter wrens, willow warblers, Eurasian nuthatches, typical warblers, and robins. The rotten trunk also functions as a shelter, protects them against enemies, and provides food in the form of insects. In spring, you can observe the fieldfare hovering above the green areas in search for food. Thus, the Stadtbad is home to more than 30 different species of birds! The Regional Association for the Protection of Birds and a study group of the Kepler High School Weiden has put up and maintained several nest boxes in and around the Stadtbad. If you take a stroll from one bridge to the other you will surly notice the beautiful hawthorn hedgerows, which, besides being a habitat for birds and insects, were probably planted in the past to fence in the swimming area.
Even the beaver is an active member of the Stadtbad community. It is especially the bark of willows and poplars that has caught his fancy. The bark of the willow contains salicylic acid, the medicinal properties of which are used mainly for fever relief (e.g. in willowbark tees). Salicylic acid is an endogenous substance produced by the bark to protect itself from infectious agents. It seems that this acid does not bother the beaver at all. However, the bark of the alder tree does not agree with the beaver. The rodent uses the tree solely for building lodges and dams. Moreover, the wetland is home to a large number of fish and amphibians. The wetland and its creeks abound with food and give them the perfect setting for their reproduction.The extensive reedbed is home to pochards and mallards. The Common Reed, after which the reedbed is named, is a large perennial grass native to wetland sites. It appears under periodically flooded or waterlogged conditions. In addition, you can find reeds such as sparganiaceae, typhaceae, common sweet flags, and club-rushes. In the summer, the air is fragrant with the smell of meadowsweets, yellow irises, and burnets.
Kepler Gymnasium Weiden:
Linda Schmauß, Hartmut Rauscher