High water instructions in Bregenz

This sign on the pier leading out to the lakefront stage on Lake Constance tells workers what action to take in case of high water at various levels.

From level 494 (which is still one meter below the level of the aluminum pier) they should close the aluminum wall of the orchestra pit. This refers to the old orchestra pit under the stage, where the orchestra used to sit and play for many years up to and including 2004.

High water instructions in Bregenz

From level 524 they should (among other things) seal up the entrances to the concrete core of the stage and install additional pumps.

At level 594 (= “+/- 0”, meaning the water has reached the exact level of the aluminum pier) they should inform the authorities and consult a structural engineer, and turn off the electrical system.

From level 639 they should flood the orchestra pit, flood the core of the stage and dismount the pumps.

I don’t know if they have ever had to do any of this.

Tour group on the pier leading out to the stage

My photos in this post are from 2005. I revised the text in 2022.

See more posts on Bregenz, Austria.
See more posts on backstage tours of European opera venues.

15 thoughts on “High water instructions in Bregenz”

  1. Love your post! BREGENZ is one of our favourites. I used it as a location in my novel “Reaction”, where the protagonist Jake Prescott meets his new girlfriend Sabrina.
    Check ou Bernkastel on the Mosel River for flood stories as well.

  2. Love your post re Bergen’s. One of our favourites! I included some action scenes from Bregenze in my novel “Catalyst” where our hero, Jake Prescott meets his new girl friend Sabrina.
    Re flooding, check out Bernkastel on the Mosel river – high water floods all the shops at the lower level.

  3. Sounds exciting. I would not have liked being in the pit during major flooding. I suppose they cancelled performances when water got too high. Perhaps orchestra members wore Wellies . . .

    1. I’ve been in that pit; it was hot, sticky and claustrophobic in the summer. Fortunately it is no longer in use; they have a better solution since 2005.

          1. They give tours of orchestra pits?! How odd. They are not pretty places, very utilitarian and usually not terribly comfortable. Lots of fun to be had if the musicians are there though . . .

          2. The tour was of the entire festival grounds, especially the stage, but included the pit, which was sort of hanging below the stage and was thus quite close to the water level. I don’t know how they kept their instruments in tune, considering the heat and humidity.

          3. That’s the joy of playing a French horn. Heat and humidity actually help. You don’t have to empty the water nearly as often, if at all, because there isn’t much condensation. Of course you sweat a lot . . .

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