The Rhine and the floodplain

Drawing course of the Rhine

is not displayed. Please always include if a heading is to be displayed flush over the blind. And assign the name ".no-jalousie" to the box.

Learn more about the station here

Rhine and Old Rhine supply the Rhine floodplains with water

The contrast is extreme: The straight, fast-flowing Rhine River meets the leisurely branches of the old Rhine arms. Yet both elements are part of a whole. Both channels supply the Rhine floodplain with vital water and nutrients.

The Rhine should be "tamed"

Before humans changed the river’s course, the Rhine was a branching network made up of many streams meandering their way slowly towards the sea. To make the Rhine accessible to large ships and the fertile land usable for agriculture, Johann Gottfried Tulla had the ambitious plan to tame the river.

Johann Gottfried Tulla's straightening of the Rhine

From 1817 to 1876, the Upper Rhine was straightened, which shortened it by 90 kilometres! With this construction, the originally braided, slow-flowing Rhine became a narrow, powerful river. Since then, it has been flowing up to 10 times faster than before, guiding most of the water it carries past the floodplain instead of into it. But as a wetland, the floodplain relies on water—the elixir of life—and this change in water flow has made it much too dry today. That is why the Rhine River and the floodplain have to be connected once again. This is the only way to preserve the ecological diversity of the old floodplain.

Drawing of three water waves
Drawing of three water waves

Why do rivers flow in curves?

Source: Terra X - CC BY 4.0

Join in! Build a small boat and let it float on the Rhein.

Leaf, blade of grass and pieces of wood

Building a mini boat is quite simple. You need a leaf, a long, wide blade of grass and two small, short pieces of wood.

Rolled up blade of grass and leaf crossed with wooden stick

Roll up the blade of grass into a thick snail and stick a wooden stick through it crosswise. Push the second wooden stick through the leaf in two places.

Wooden stick with leaf on the rolled up blade of grass

Now place the wooden stick with leaf in the center of your rolled-up blade of grass.

Assembled all the parts make a small boat.

Ready! Your own little boat is now ready for use.

Mini boat on a body of water

Now you can float your boat. Try it out!

Drawing course of the Rhine