Here’s why I find canals so fascinating: they were massive, transformational public works projects, still visible today, but whose need and impact to society have all but left our cultural awareness.
And here’s why I find hidden canals so fascinating: out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Dismantling sections of a canal, or covering them over, or filling them in, is the the first step in their disappearance from public knowledge and their relegation to archeology. Ask anyone about a hidden canal, and they will tell you they vaguely remember something but usually can’t quite put their finger on what they remember.
And here is the bit that is now hidden, covered over by a park and a busstop:
Just to prove a canal is truly hidden here, I simply turn 180-degrees to get this view:
And here is a historical photograph. Next time I get to Mulhouse I’ll have a look if I can find any of these old buildings. But you’ll see immediately from this picture how prominently this canal was incorporated into the landscape architecture : the city was proud the canal ran through it, and the integration (both landscape and cultural) was tight.