X-TERN   via Haller 20, 39012 merano (bz)-italy
X-48 [TALKING PAVEMENT] Merano (BZ), Italy, 2014-2016  
A third motif in the pavement design, crossing the piazza in the east-west direction, is represented by the “Ritsche”. In medieval times in Merano, as in other places in the Tirol region, a series of small channels took water from the close river into the town. The water was carried up to the town hall and the person in charge was the Mayor (the “Borgomastro”). The irrigation canals, which in agriculture were called "Waale" (irrigation ditches), in the centre of Merano took the name of "Ritschen", also mentioned by the German writer Beda Weber in his descriptions of the city. These were channels covered with stone slabs, which still characterize part of the old city, especially the Steinach district. The water of these canals was useful for several needs, for example to wash clothes, or to serve as a valuable source of fire protection. _ Photo credits: © 2016 X-TERN architects+urban planners