Kinderdijk, The Netherlands
A World Heritage Site - Holland's Glory and Pride
Kinderdijk is the only place in the world with so many windmills so close together in an authentic polder landscape. The nineteen mills, pumping stations, low and high 'boezems' (storage basins), ditches and sluices together form an ingenious water management system in the low-lying polders. This is a typical Dutch, world-class landscape with delightful views, overwhelming cloud formations and stunning nature.
The Kinderdijk windmills are considered a Dutch icon throughout the entire world. The seventeen windmills that were used for water drainage were built between 1738 and 1740. Before then, the area already had polder mills, two of which can still be seen. For many years, these windmills kept the low-lying, peat land of the Alblasserwaard dry. This land was continually threatened by floods and soil compaction. In Kinderdijk, the almost one thousand years of 'battling the water' is still visible in the polder landscape. It’s with good reason, that the Kinderdijk-Elshout windmill complex was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997.