Kinderdijk, a little village in the south of The Netherlands well-known for it’s windmills, is as about as Dutch as it can get. It is one of those places that are highlighted in travel guides as one of the must-sees in The Netherlands, but where I had never been, even though I’m a born and raised ‘Hollander‘. In 1997 Kinderdijk was granted UNESCO World Heritage Status, so time to see some the good my country has to offer – off to Kinderdijk!
How about some Dutch History?
The Netherlands thanks its name to the fact that over one third of the country is located below sea level. Inventive and smart as the Dutch are they have built some ingenious dikes which keeps the country from being flooded. I bet you would’ve never thought you’d be 2 meters below sea level when wandering around Amsterdam, did you? 😉
But what does this have to do with windmills and Kinderdijk? Well, Mother Nature has gifted us the great power of wind. Windmills use this natural energy source to, amongst others, pump water for land drainage. When visiting Kinderdijk you get to take a closer look at these wind-loving water-pumping heroes. A more elaborate story about the history of Kinderdijk can be found on their website.
Kinderdijk – some practical information
Kinderdijk is located about 100 kilometers from Amsterdam. The best way to get there is by car and it is advisable to check upfront if it is expected to be a busy day. But have no fear: even though it can be packed with other mill-admiring-tourists you will still have plenty to see as the windmills are stretched over a big (flat) area. You can rent a bike and cycle through the wonderful Dutch lands, you can get a hop on hop off boat ticket which will sail you to four different stops, or you can just explore the area by foot.
Get your cameras out!
I absolutely enjoyed visiting Kinderdijk. One of the reasons is that I’m actually very proud of the Dutch for being so creative with their water prevention, but also because windmills are a symbol of true Dutch heritage. The windmills are located in a beautiful area where you are surrounded by (in summer) lots of greenery and water. Here are a few of the snapshots I have taken during my visit:
For the die hard tourists amongst us there even is a huge wooden shoe at the corner of the entrance, and of course I couldn’t resist taking a quick photo there as well 🙂 Have fun at Kinderdijk!