Hof Historical Tours
Seeing our city with your eyes wide open
The Northern Upper Franconian association for nature, history and regional studies plans to install about 80 so-called ‚history displays‘ in order to present and explain historic monuments, streets and public places in Hof.
The first 29 of those displays have already been handed over to the public. There are two circular tours that connect the city center and that, for the most part, show a historic view which the spectator then can compare to the present situation from their location.
The design of the displays
Material and size of the displays were chosen in accordance with tours created along the Saale in the nearby small town Schwarzenbach that deal with history and also Schwarzenbach’s most famous citizen, the poet Jean Paul. In a guided tour a working group was able to familiarize themselves with the chosen system. The displays used in Hof are of a format of 57 cm width and 40 cm depth with a thickness of 8 mm. They are attached to walls or angled (similar to a speaker’s desk) on stainless steel bars about one meter off the ground so that they are easily readable for spectators who face them.
The imprinted displays are composed of a durable, weatherproof and washable synthetic material. It is relatively robust against vandalism: spray paint is removable without destroying the print and holes do not fray nor swell. The displays can survive rain, ice and snow for years without damage. More extravagant constructions (of for example stone, aluminum or stainless steel) were deliberately dispensed as they are not more secure against vandalism yet they are considerably more expensive. The simplest and most reasonable solution was preferred so that destroyed displays could be replaced with low financial input.
The layout was consensually devised by Hof’s tourist office, the Civic Marketing Association and the working group. It is so low-key that the displays match the black and yellow signs many buildings in Hof have; this way the displays do not compete with the objects optically. On the other hand, the design is noticeable enough that spectator can already detect them from a distance. The colors were chosen due to the fact that they themselves are almost non-yellowing as all colors do yellow in the course of the years despite the manufacturer’s warranty on UV firmness. The background color is a bright grey.
On the upper edge, there are a bar in Hof’s city colors (yellow and black), the city coat of arms as well as the number of the display. On the bottom, a yellow bar presents the sponsors’ signets.
On the left sides there normally are pictorial representations (old photos, map sections, graphics) and the right sides show a text with historical explanations. The photos were obtained mainly from the city archive, blueprints from municipal construction permits, and several photos from private collections or museums. The texts can be read within one or two minutes; they were intentionally made short and clearly understandable to not build up barriers of education. The font is sans serif and so big that it is easily legible even from one meter away and also for those with minor vision problems.
Hof Historical Tours
Historical Tour 1: northern city (7,5 MB)
Historical Tour 2: southern city (7,7 MB)
Historical Tour 3: the West End (5,1 MB)
Historical Tour 5: work and rest (5,2 MB)