Kinderdijk is a beautiful landscape of empty marshes and waterways above which 19 historic windmills (some brick, some timber) rise like sentinels. The mills are kept in operating condition and some still function as residences. In summer, tall reeds line the canals, lily pads float on the water and bird calls break the silence. It's a wonderful – and quintessentially Dutch – landscape to wander through.
The name Kinderdijk is said to derive from the horrible St Elizabeth's Day Flood of 1421 when a storm and flood washed a kind (child) in a crib up onto the dyke. Since that time, this part of the country has been a focus of Dutch efforts to claim land from the water. Several of the most important types of windmill are found 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.