Dutch town celebrates unusual cigar making and falconry heritage with audio guide
Twice in its lifetime, a quiet town on the south coast of the Netherlands has been a hub of a luxury industry with an international reach. A thriving community of elite falconers followed by a boom in cigar manufacturing make the town’s heritage as diverse as it is significant. Visitors can now explore this heritage using a specially commissioned guide created by Imagineear for the Falconry and Cigar Makers Museum.
Falconry used to be widespread in Europe, with the elite being trained to tame and fly falcons from a young age. Much rarer now, its influence is still echoed in day-to-day expressions like ‘fed-up’ and ‘hoodwinked’.
Almost 300 years ago, Valkenswaard became one of the most important centres of falconry in Europe. The industry defined the town by giving it ‘valk’, the Dutch word for falcon as part of its name. The museum explores everything about falconry, from how the falconers lived to how the birds were trained. The introduction of the audio guide means that exciting information that was previously difficult to share with visitors can now be presented in a clear and engaging way in Dutch and English. Combined with 3D models, artefacts and works of art, techniques which have been honed over centuries can now be appreciated by people who do not have any existing knowledge of falconry.
Almost 200 years after Europe looked to Valkenswaard for falcons and the falconers, they turned to it again for cigars. By 1920, the town was home to 42 cigar factories. The industry’s journey from producing cigars using a plate, knife and scissors to becoming fully mechanised is shown in the museum. Colourful bands and boxes packaged with the cigars are also on display. Valkenswaard produces no cigars today, but the audio guide explains the specialised processes that were used while visitors examine the equipment that was used at the time.
Eleonore Heijboer, Creative Director of Imagineear says: “The Falconry & Cigar Makers Museum is certainly one of the more unusual projects that we have worked on. Although cigar making and falconry are very different industries, communicating these time-proven passions shares similar challenges. Both are complex crafts now usually foreign to 21st Century visitors, with highly specialised equipment and techniques. We have created a guide that helps decode these complex skills, and explains them using our MediaPacker™ players in a way that is easy for visitors to follow and understand. Seeing the difference it has made to how visitors experience this unique museum has been particularly rewarding.”
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Tel: +31 (0)20 7716645
About Imagineear Ltd
Imagineear is a leading provider of multimedia content and technology solutions. We design and produce multilingual content, which we often integrate with existing archive materials, as well as live audio. We publish to smartphones, and to smart devices on-site, working with sports venues, cultural sites and the healthcare sector. In London and Amsterdam we have experienced content, hardware, software and data solution teams. Our goal is to help our clients deliver exceptional value and memorable experiences to their visitors, both on- and off-site. www.imagineear.com