Kinderdijk

sights / Historic

Kinderdijk information

Location
Rotterdam , The Netherlands
More information
www.kinderdijk.nl
Prices
admission free
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This is a great spot to see windmills out in the countryside. A Unesco World Heritage site, it has 19 windmills strung out on both sides of canals, which you can wander by foot or bike.

This spot has been a focus of Dutch efforts to claim land from the water for centuries. Indeed the name Kinderdijk is said to derive from the horrible St Elizabeth’s Day Flood of 1421 when a storm and flood washed a baby in a crib with a cat up onto the dyke. Stories aside, it is a starkly beautiful area, with the windmills rising above the empty marshes and waterways like many sentinels.

Several of the most important types of windmill are here, including hollow post mills and rotating cap mills. The latter are among the highest in the country as they were built to better catch the wind. The mills are kept in operating condition and date from the 18th century. In summer tall reeds line the canals, lily pads float on the water and bird calls break the silence. If you venture past the first couple of mills, you leave 90% of the day trippers behind. You can also visit an old pumping station where a film is shown about Kinderdijk.

On Saturdays in July and August, from 2pm to 5pm, most of the windmills are in operation, an unforgettable sight that was once common but is now impossible to find anywhere else.