A patchwork of water meadows


Created by monks, cultivated by farmers – the water meadows around Langenthal are the last examples of this form of irrigation, which also served as flood protection. A sluice in the river is used to divert water into a network of ditches and embankments in order to flood the fields.

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Fertile, lush green water meadows make up this unforgettable stretch of uniquely beautiful countryside − home to numerous species of plants and animals that have now become rare. In the 13th century, the Cistercian monks of St. Urban's monastery constructed an ingenious network of ditches here, laying the foundations for the extensive irrigation system in the Langeten valley. The ancient watering times and rights are still respected today, and the water meadows are flooded three times a year over an area of some 110 hectares. The water meadows of the Rottal valley are especially idyllic.

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