Kinderdijk is a village 16 km east from Rotterdam and less than 10km north from Dordrecht. There are 19 KINDERDIJK WINDMILLS in close proximity to each other, forming an impressive symbol of the struggle of the Dutch against the encroaching water.
In 1366 and 1369, workers dug the canals (weteringen) through Alblasserwaar to Kinderdijk. The canals were designed to discharge excess water into the River Lek. When the canals were no longer sufficient to cope with rising water levels, Windmills were constructed. Eight were built in 1738 and eight more in 1740, to protect the surrounding land from flooding.
Unesco added the Kinderdijk Windmills to its World Heritage list in 1997.
A charge of 5,00 Euros for Parking applies. You will get a wonderful brochure about the Windmills from the parking attendants. One brochure per vehicle.
Friday June 6, 2008
Kinderdijk is one of the best known sites in Holland as it is typical Dutch landscape. In all the times Hans and I have visited Holland, it's unbelievable that this is the first time going there. Hans lived there for over twenty years - he's never been there! His sister Nel lives there - it's the first time for her too. So when we mentioned we wanted to see it, we made plans for a drive there and took the "Molen Boat Tour". Actually, it was only about a 45 minute drive away.
The WINDMILLS drain the excess water from the Alblasserwaard Polders which are below sea-level. The water is then sluiced into the River Lek.
The powerful sails of the windmill transmit the force of the wind on to large paddle-wheels which scoop up the water and pump it into a reservoir ( Boezem ) until the level of the river reaches a level that pumping into the river is possible again.
Nowadays, modern pumping stations have taken over the function that the Windmills used to perform.
The WISBOOM PUMPING STATION or Wisboomgemaal, is a historic building dating from 1868. Originally a steam-powered pumping station, it was converted to electricicy-powered in 1924.
It also serves as a Visitor Centre.
The dike along the river Lek seems to be a safe place, even I donot really know when there would be a bad storm.
Holland is notorious for its floods included the superfluous water of its rivers.
Do the famous windmills of Kinderdijk take care for the water in the lowland polders, the dike got built to protect people for the river-water.
And the legend about the original story of the craddle, child and cat took care for survive of the name of the area of Kinderdijk ...
Fondest memory: Ofcourse it is possible you may find some elements of the legendary tellings in the houses of the people living in Kinderdijk, like little mills, or cats made of stone.
Some dike houses are so nice to look at and do show some connection with the area, the legendary tellings, and at the same time respect for nature and its forces ...
I could not resist making a picture of this dike home which looks so peaceful.
I enjoyed my visit to Kinderdijk, thank you!
The area around Kinderdijk is where two great rivers meet. The Merwede and the Maas. It's a wet piece of land and very low. So windmills were built there to keep the land dry. These days, there's a pumping-station that takes care of this. But 8 Saturdays a year, all windmills do run.
The windmills are rented out by the Province to anyone who wants to live there. There are obviously long waiting lists. The tenants have to agree to let the windmills run on those 8 Saturdays a year.
Sorry to repeat a photo here. I did not take many but the info I want to convey is more than the number of photo's I made.
The ANWB is the Dutch touringclub-organisation and is always helping travellers out in the most magnificent way. For Kinderdijk the have a special telephonenumber that people who want to go to Kinderdijk or just want to know more detailed information about the area and it's windmills, can call. The number is 0900-0660 (35 eurocent per minute) and can only be dialed within the Netherlands.
Fondest memory: The fact that I know that when I take Ilja here, he will go nuts by so many windmills. He is crazy about them and calls out "papa, mama DRAAI DRAAI" (turn turn) when we pass one. In the Netherlands that happens frequently, so, we're getting dissy from his turn turns. (-:
Look all the water here. The difference with La Mancha is basically due to the existence of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen foming a molecule. Chances for someone like Quijote to appear around here are slim. It isn't because the differences in culture -cause Alonso Quijano is universal figure - but because the heat that can make you to see gigants instead of windmills is not available.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is being able to handle my two of my kids while their mother was flying back to Japan. The time is meorable cause in those days there were not flies from Amsterdam to Washighton DC, our route. September 2001.
Do you wan to see the mills?
The answer was yes. But nobody told we would find an army of mill in this place. The landscape is completely different to La Mancha and the way those mills are the alignement is just different to that my ancestor Alonso Quijano fought against...
The place is, nevertheless, a real jewel of engineering.
Fondest memory: This is not my fondest memory, it will be vome meory anytime in the future. I would love to go by bicycle to thos place and ride in between the gigants and fight against them...just to keep a familiar tradition.
I suppose i could type long lines here about what to see, how to get there etc etc.
I wont...because the excellent official kinderdijk webpage already gives you all the information that you might need. You could say I am a lazy bum (which i am) but the all the info is better presented there then i could ever do myself.
Go to www.kinderdijk.nl
The windmill in the picture is the only windmill that is open for the public. Entrance fee is 2 Euro.
When in Rome, do as the Romans - when in the Netherlands... cycle like the Dutch. This is what I thought when my friend suggested we should go to see the windmills by bike. If I had listened to my Belgian friends, whose maxim is "never cycle with a Dutchman unless you have suicidal tendencies", I would have thought twice about it; but somehow I decided to ignore their advice and enthusiastically accepted the offer.
Fondest memory: Eventually the big day came, my friend borrowed a bike for me, and off we went: Rotterdam to Kinderdijk, about 15 km there, and another 15 back. After all it did not sound like such a great distance, and Holland's flat anyway, so I thought I could easily manage that. Hell, the distance did not prove to be too much, to be fair, and Holland turned out to be as flat as one knows but... small detail I forgot, it's a sore business for your bum.
Favorite thing: just another picture :-) The weather wasn't very sunny during our visit, but the contrasts of sun and clouds, dark and bright, light and shadow was amazing.