To increase the representativeness of the Tourist Information centre a large investment was required to get it on a level that was the standard in Western Europe because that required a complete reconstruction of the facilities. In the case of the second problem, that is the visitors visiting Škoda museum and not going anywhere else, we had already acted on this problem previously with brochures and maps, which off ered alternative ways to spend time in the city. Their eff ectiveness was limited.For this reason the idea of a walking trail was borne in the Tourist Information centre; the walking trail that starts at Skoda museum and guides tourists in a natural way to other sights and the city points of interests.
However, the issue of the educational trail raised another problem. For the nature trail, there is a need for many large information panels where there is little room for texts, not to mention translations. And even if space was enough, in today‘s fast-paced time people just do not like to read. At the same time, space for maps was needed, but huge information panels with maps were found to be an obsolete and boring solution. We wanted to create a visually attractive information panel. It occurred to us that we could have the panels made by art smiths.
But outside the infocenter, this idea did not meet the positive feedback at fi rst. We did not give it up and we turned to the art smith. The designs were beautiful and the others could see that they could be very aesthetically tasteful. There was a challenge of texts. How to solve a lack of space for texts themselves and also translations into three languages? We‘ve approached a company that has met our requirements and designed a device that can play a spoken sound in our info panel. Moreover, it is not just a push of a button, which is a solution that is not attractive nowadays. We have designed an information panel that is interactive and entertaining. This means that in order to be able to listen to a recording of a certain memory or point of interest, it is necessary to develop your own activity - spin the panel crank before a signal sounds to indicate that you have supplied the panel with the power to start the audio spot. Then you can just choose a language and listen to an interesting narrative.
When we had our ideas more or less complete, we still had to secure funding. If funding from the Regional Operational Program (the ROP Central Bohemia, EU fund for regional development) was requested specifi cally for the reconstruction of
the information center and especially for the production and location of information panels around the city, the project would not be suffi ciently „strong“ and would have no chance of subsidizing. That is why we have teamed together into one project. And so the Metal route through Mladá Boleslav was born - an educational trail with metal information panels. All information panels were gradually established by the summer of 2012. In the middle of the realization we also added sound spots for the children‘s path of the trail, which is shorter in response to the demand for greater appeal of the Metal route for Families with Children. When recording children‘s spots, we cooperated with the local Center for Youth and Children and they provided us with children‘s voices. For younger visitors we have also prepared a children competition brochure called “Wandering with Vojta along the metal trail”, which includes puzzles, challenges, drawings and questions. If they complete the tasks, they can collect
a well-deserved reward at the Tourist Information Centre.
For some of the „information points“ of the Metal Way a high text intensity was typical, so where more text was needed, the sound infopanels were replaced with large information boards. Specifi cally, there were 2 large boards at the bus station, 1 double- sided information board with information on the city on the one side and about the region on the other, which we located at our information center. Another such board can be found at Municipal Palace Templ and at the Boleslav Castle. These panels contain a schematic map of the city, a magnifi cent drawing of the city by
Ing. Arch. Staněk, uniform graphics and an artistically metal frame that refers to the Metal Route.
For a good orientation on the Metal Route blasting maps in 5 languages were released. These are available not only at the Infocentrum, but also at the Škoda Museum, the Templ Palace, the Boleslav Castle etc.
Během dvou let byla v Mladé Boleslavi v rámci IPRM realizována spousta dalších investic, z nichž některé z nich si po svém dokončení rozhodně zasloužily být součástí již existující Metalové cesty. Proto jsme se v rámci poslední výzvy ROP Střední Čechy rozhodli znovu požádat o dotace na rozšíření Metalové cesty. Z původní 4kilometrové trasy tak vznikla trasa 7kilometrová a místo dvanácti zastavení u památek či zajímavostí jich má nyní Metalová cesta šestnáct. Přibyl také velkoplošný panel u městského koupaliště.
The Metal Route met with positive feedback, the citizens themselves even created a geocaching game, which we were very pleasantly surprised and, of course, we allowed it to be placed on www.metalovacesta.cz
Within two years, a number of other investments were made in Mladá Boleslav within Development strategy plan (IPRM), some of which, after their completion, defi nitely deserved to be part of an already existing Metal Route. That is why we have decided to re-apply for a subsidy for the extension of the Metal Route within the last call of ROP Central Bohemia. From the original 4-kilometer route, the 7-kilometer route was created and instead of twelve stops the Metal Route now has sixteen. There was also a large panel at the city swimming pool.
From the beginning, we wanted the Metal Way to be accessible even for disabled people. That is why, with the help of other subsidies, we have ensured the mapping of the accessibility of the entire route and the 40 entities that provide services for tourists
and are on or near this route. The mapping was carried out according to the methodology developed for the Czech Ministry of Regional development by the Prague Wheelchair Organization and its results are published on our website.
As part of the popularization of the Metal Route, we organized the fi rst annual international smith symposium called Metal Symposium in 2013. Every year we invite 5 artisan smiths from 5 diff erent countries. Each of them creates a statue of metal in the course of a week, which later beautifi es the city of Mladá Boleslav. Now, at the end of the 5th year, we can say that we have 26 works from 29 diff erent authors coming from 16 diff erent countries and from 4 continents. Since the 4th year of the
Metal Symposium, wood carvers have also joined to create thematic benches. Statues and benches are planned to be installed in the public space and we believe that it will become more interesting for tourists.
Recently the Metal trail received a new touristic visiting card; this souvenir sticker can be added to your tourist diary and can be bought in the tourist offi ce in Železná street in Mladá Boleslav.
The project Metal Route is not at its end. It is a “living organism“ that is constantly growing, changing and developing, and we still have the taste and ideas for new improvements.