The village of Kinderdijk is more or less surrounded by water: located at the tip of a peninsula between the rivers Noord and Lek, it was a necessity to not only prevent water from destroying the village by building dikes, but also to drain the polders and make them usable for agriculture by building windmills. The windmills were built in the 1730s and 40s, and there are 19 altogether, which makes Kinderdijk the area with the highest density of mills in the Netherlands. And as tourists flock to places where they hope to find a stereotypical image of the country (in the case of the Netherlands, cheese, windmills, bicycles, wooden shoes...), Kinderdijk is more than popular with visitors. I doubt that you will have a peaceful minute there if you go in summertime, but as we were around on an ice-cold March day, we could enjoy the place without tourists. It is well worth not only to go to the first windmill, which is open to visitors for a fee of 6 euros and hosts a small exhibition about the windmills, but also to stroll a bit further along the dike, particularly when you come early in the morning or shortly before sunset and the light is fantastic for photographs. The windmills will look different from every new angle, and with the surrounding reeds shining in a bright yellowish glow, the odd cyclist riding down the dike and the dark blue water of the canal, they are just magical.
This was the first windmill we found that was open to the public on a regular basis. We paid our entrance price and spent an hour exploring the inside...I have added several links here where you can learn both about the Kinderdijk park itself and also the history of the windmills themselves, their design and use.
A network of 19 windmills was built around 1740 to drain the polder of Kinderdijk and surrounding polders. (Polders are areas of land below sea level that are protected by dikes.)
The windmilles stand in neat rows along an L-shaped drainage canal, where they pumped water from the surrounding polders, until steam and electric pumps offered more reliable protection against flooding.
This group of mills is the largest concentration of windmills in the Netherlands. And nowhere in the world you will find as many windmills as near the village of Kinderdijk.
The foundation "Wereld Erfgoed Kinderdijk" maintains and preserves the windmills in Kinderdijk. The preservation is not limited to the windmills themselves, but also covers the area in which the windmills are situated.
The windmilles were placed on the list of UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.
The Kinderdijk windmill area is situated in the Alblasserwaard between the rivers Lek and Merwede, about 25 kilometres from Rotterdam.
The 19 windmills at Kinderdijk symbolise the way in which the Dutch have managed the water. For centuries, they have kept the land dry, which had been ravaged by subsidence and floods.
VIDEO of my visit:
You almost feel like you are intruding on their privacy. Almost like the paparazzi taking photo's of celebs. Fortunately there are a few months when this place is visitor free and the windmills can take the smiles of their faces.
A boat trip here is the perfect way to see the windmills in their full glory and to experience the landscape. The boat departs every half hour from in front of the cafeteria, provided he has a minimum of 4 people. The cost is 3.00 euro
Amazing that the kitchen and main bedroom was same room. We are so used to luxury today, that we cannot imagine something like this. I am not sure if I would be very happy in the beds, as they seem to be very small to me.
Windmill no 2 is open to the public from March untill end of October and the opening hours are 9h30 to 5h30. The mill, is more that 265 years old, and operates daily provided their is enough wind to fuel it. The interior is still in its original state and everywhere is video's running to tell us about how the people lived in years gone by.
Admission is 3.50 Euro and if you want to buy a map of the area it is another 1 euro.
Kinderdijk is a town in southern Holland, and is famous for its windmills. The mills are located on both sides of the river, there are 19 in total. In 1997 they were added to Unesco's World Heritage List.
One of the mills, pretty close to the town, can also be visited in the summer. The best way to view the mills is by walking or bike riding along the river.
A boat trip MOLENTOCHT or MOLEN TOUR, is the perfect way to see the Windmills in their full glory and also to experience the surrounding landscape. Trips depart from "De Molenhoek" Cafeteria. The tour takes you to the last Windmill on the Overwaard and back and it's a half-hour trip. It was a lovely tour and you get to see most of the 19 Windmills. We were fortunate that it was a clear, sunny day and the river was calm enough to capture the windmills reflections.
Ticket price 3,00 Euros - pay as you board the boat.
Parking is available - 5,00 Euros - and you get a nice colourful brochure
Every day from March until the end of October, the VISITORS WINDMILL opens from 9:30 to 5:30 p.m. This 265 years old Windmill operates every day, provided there is enough wind. The interior of the Windmill remains in its original state. Information is provided about how people used to live and work in Windmills.
Admission 3,50 Euros.
And the best way to get a good view of all these windmills is by taking a boat trip! And what a luck I had with the weather!! It was a beautiful spring day, blue sky, sun shining, and nice warm weather! I couldn't wish for anything better.
It was off season, so there weren't many tourist, and I had a wonderful time. I always was under the impression that the Kinderdijk was one big tourist trap. A site only there for the foreign tourists. But I was so wrong! I've seen lots and lots of windmills over the years, but so many close together really amazed me! It was fantastic to see. So if you go here, take a boattrip and enjoy!
From the first of may until the end of September there is a boat trip along the windmills of Kinderdijk. The boat starts and stops at the beginning of the windmill boulevard, across the gift shop. The trip will take you to the last windmill of the Overwaard and back. The first trip is at 10.00am and the last one leaves at 17:00pm.
Prices (2008): Euro 3,00, Children age 4-9: Euro 2,50, children under the age of 4: free
The windmills of Kinderdijk got so famous because these windmills were created to bring the superfluous water of the lowland polders to the river Lek which is next to Kinderdijk.
The river Lek carries the water in her turn to the North Sea.
So the windmills simply perform the duties of water pumps!
As far as you can look there are the windmills,
Kinderdijk has some 19 windmills which still are in good condition,
and I happen to take some amazing fashion pics here ...
Coming up as soon as possible, when my printer will work again ...
A visit to Kinderdijk is a typical Dutch trip which got famous for tourist all over the world.
Especially the scenes of the green meadows and the windmills spread out in the meadows made the views amazingly exciting, stunning, breath-taking ...
Try to go for a walk and do hear the wings spinning around and making their typical sounds ...
and green can be such a beautiful colour.
You have a nice view of many of the windmills as you walk along the promenade. As you walk the first turn off to the right leads to the unit that is open to the public for a small fee. It is a well preserved example of this type of windmill.
Amongst the 19 windmills there is one open to the public. You climb the steep and narrow ladders to each floor - men going up first as is the Dutch etiquette! There are little displays showing windmill life back when they were occupied by the mill keeper and his wife and family as well as other windmilly objects and artefacts. The ceilings are low so mind your head .
Ohhh and the sails!! They may LOOK as though they are going to sweep round and knock your block off as you enter and leave through the low door - but don't worry - excellent Dutch design doesn't permit this!