Idea #591 – Visiting the water mills of Kinderdijk in Netherlands
The installations of Kinderdijk-Elshout illustrate in a admirable way the remarkable contribution of the inhabitants of the Netherlands to the technology of management of the water, situated in an exceptional artificial landscape within which the secular fight led by the Dutch people to drain certain parts of their territory and protect them against the floods.
The construction of hydraulic works to drain lands in agricultural and residential purposes began in the Middle Ages and continued continuously until our days. Infrastructures still visible to Kinderdikk illustrate all the typical characteristics associated with this technology: polders, drainage of upstream and downstream and channels of transport for the positive water of polders, banks and dikes, 19 mills of drainage, 3 pumping stations, 2 overflows and 2 Houses of the Assembly of the administration of waters. The splendidly kept mills can be divided into three categories: 8 “brick-built round sailors of earth”, 10 octagonal mills with roof turning in thatch and a mill to pivot hollow. The landscape is remarkable in its juxtaposition of horizontal elements, represented by channels, dikes and fields, and of vertical rhythms chanted by the network of mills. No other network of similar drainage or comparable seniority exists somewhere else in the Netherlands or in the world. The site is registered on the UNESCO world heritage list.
Where is it?