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Walking through Kinderdijk, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

There’s just something about a mill. Water or wind, no matter its purpose, humankind’s ability to harness the natural power and energy around us is almost magical. We’ve seen mills for pressing olives into oil,grinding grain into grist, cutting logs into lumber, and even creating electricity. The mills at Kinderdijk, however, were built for a different purpose–moving water.

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I have always been fascinated by mechanical technology. Ever since I was a child, I can remember taking things apart and rebuilding them. Whenever I travel I am always on the lookout for machinery or anything mechanical. While others are looking at the statues and artwork, I’m trying to figure out how the ceiling was constructed or how the rickety old elevator works. So when we went to the Netherlands, I was excited to have the chance to see the windmills of Kinderdijk.

Walk Kinderdijk

We woke early in the morning to be on the dikes before sunrise. The light is best at that time of day for photography, the rising sun gives everything a rosy glow. We were there before the “official” opening time of the park but since this is a public area, open for walking or jogging at anytime, that wasn’t really a problem.

We parked in the lot at the end of the dike and spent a little time checking out the modern water pumping station. The area still requires constant draining and water movement to keep it from flooding. The land here was reclaimed from the sea long ago but without the use of electric or gas burning pump houses used today.

Walk Kinderdijk

Instead, these massive windmills were built to capture the energy of the wind to operate the pumps and machinery that would drain the sea water and keep the water moving through the canals. The remaining windmills have been carefully maintained and restored and several of them can be visited and explored during operating hours. You can go inside and see how the machinery works and even climb up to the upper levels to the sail decks for an amazing view. I’ve even seen people riding on the sails as they go round and round in the steady breeze!

Walk Kinderdijk

When we went to Kinderdijk, we stayed the night in Papendrecht at the Apollo Hotel. This was a comfortable place, only 10 minutes drive from the park. We woke early, went out to explore, and then back to the hotel for the delicious complimentary breakfast of fresh orange juice, baked goods, and cooked to order eggs!

Walk Kinderdijk

Apollo Hotel Papendrecht
Burgemeester Keijzerweg 100
3353 CV Papendrecht
T: +31 (0) 78 615 20 99
F: +31 (0) 78 615 85 97
E: info.papendrecht@apollohotelsresorts.com

Have been to the windmill complex at Kinderdijk? Are you fascinated by these technological wonders? Share your adventures or ask a question.

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This post is linked to Travel Photo Thursdays and Friday Postcards and Sunday Traveler.

Karen Smith

Monday 4th of September 2017

Just beautiful photographs. You two have the most amazing adventures!

Corinne Vail

Monday 4th of September 2017

Thanks Karen!

Adelina // Pack Me To

Thursday 31st of July 2014

I really enjoyed visiting this site. It's incredible to know how much they contributed to the history and way of life in the Netherlands. Not to mention coming up with the mechanics behind it all. People are amazing.

Corinne Vail

Friday 1st of August 2014

Adelina, Kinderdijk is a beautiful site; we loved it.

rhonda albom

Thursday 31st of July 2014

Windmills always make me smile, I think it is more the association with childhood fantasy stories then the technology. Either way, I loved this post and wish we had spent more time in the Netherlands.

Corinne Vail

Friday 1st of August 2014

Rhonda, I know windmills are fun and full of fancy and imagination, and I still love all the technology!

Anna | slightly astray

Tuesday 29th of July 2014

Ooh when I first saw the picture, I thought it was from the same place I visited a week ago in the Dutch countryside!! But I think I went so,we here different (Zaanse Schans). I love the old windmills!! So picturesque. And that picture with the purple clouds is sooooo gorgeous!

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 30th of July 2014

Anna, Yes! Zaanse Schans is another beautiful spot with lots of windmills. It's an open-air park; my kids loved it! Thanks.

Diana - Life in German.

Sunday 27th of July 2014

We went to visit the kinderdijk molens when we went to the Netherlands last year! it was awesome and we went inside two of them, one of which was a watermill & on, but not actually pumping water.. thanks for sharing, I didn't know it was a UNESCO world heritage site.

Corinne Vail

Sunday 27th of July 2014

Diana, I love the Dutch molens/windmills...they deserve to be UNESCO.