Kinderdijk (Dutch for “Children dike”) is a small village in the province of South-Holland and a famous World Heritage site well known for the many and various windmills located in the polder near the riverside. There is a total of 19 windmills: a row of nine windmills to keep the Nederwaard dry and a row of nine windmills on the Overwaard to keep that polder dry. Next to the Overwaard is the last mill, this is a “wipmill” named ‘The Blokker’.
Function of the mollins
The Kinderdijk windmills were built to pump up the water from the low-lying polder. At the bottom of each mill is a paddle wheel that brings up the water, often with a height difference of 140 centimeters. The reservoir could be pumped out into the river by other windmills whenever the river level was low enough; the river level has both seasonal and tidal variations. Although some of the windmills are still used, the main water works are provided by two diesel pumping stations. One of these is near one of the entrances of the windmills site.
The Hirstory of Water Boards
In the thirteenth century, count Floris V of Holland ordered the founding of District Water Boards. Water Boards were innovative organisations; cooperative efforts in which all residents contributed to keep these lands dry. Three Water Boards were founded here: Alblasserwaard, Overwaard and Nederwaard, which were later merged into the Rivierenland Water Board. A system of many small cannels was used to lead the water from the polder to the lowest point at the western tip of the area. That point was Kinderdijk. Here a set of four sluices – two for each Water Board – let the water flow out into the river at low tide. These Elshoutsluizen were the first technological leap in the water management system you can still see at work today.
For more information about history of Kinderdijk, see:
If you plan to travel for more days through The Netherlands, the best option is to choose for the temporary (‘lease’) OV-chipkaart which is the official transportation card for all public transportation!
Getting to Kinderdijk can be done by many different ways. For the most comfortable and enjoyable route see the information of “Waterbus”. With this company you can travel from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk fairly easily by boat.
Rotterdam Welcome Card
Planing to pay Rotterdam a visit? Maybe the Rotterdam Welcome Card can be useful. This card will give you 1-2-3- days free transportation with the local PTO: RET and 25-50% reduction on entrance fees of more than 50 attractions, museums, restaurants and nightlife of Rotterdam.