Kinderdijk, the Netherlands
Kinderdijk is home to 19 windmills, all built during the 1700's and all still functional (although they are not used any more - now they have modern pumping stations to do this work). On Saturdays in July and August, the turn all 19 of the old mills on! We stopped in on the last Saturday in August so we could experience the full effect of all of them (one is on and open from spring until fall).
Curt, Amanda, Casey, and Alex watch the current pumping station work.
We'll start with the modern pumping system - which fascinated this family of engineering minded people! These large screws moved the water up from the lower canal to the higher one, much like the mills did in the past but powered differently and moving much more water.
Now back to the old mills - 8 of them were built in 1738 - they are all brick built tower mills with a scoop wheel fixed outside under cover and they work on the Nederwaard. Eight others were built in 1740 to work on the Overwaard plus two others to work the Nieuw-Lekkerland Polder - these were octagonal tower mills with reed roofs and a covered scoop wheel. One last mill was built in 1761 on the Blokweer Polder and it is a lever up water mill with an uncovered scoop wheel. Now let's see if we can figure out which mills are which!
It was a very overcast day - it rained really hard on us while we were driving up from Brussels and we really hoped the rain would be over by the time we got there! It was and we had a picnic lunch and a lovely afternoon to wander around the mills.
These canals were dug, by hand, in 1366 and 1369 - the mills were added later when the canals alone were not enough to keep the water where they needed it to be.
Kinderdijk became a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site in 1997 and stands today as a tribute to the struggle of the Dutch against the water.
These sand sculptures were near the Visitor's Mill - very cool!
The length of the stock is about 28 meters
Here you can see 11 of the 19 mills!
The inner workings of the scoop wheel
Alex, Amanda, and Casey at the Visitor's Mill (it's one of the Nederwaard mills of 1738)
Sonya and Curt
This is the mill of the Blokweer Polder - the one built in 1761 with the scoop uncovered.
This is one of the octagonal mills built in 1740
We had a great time seeing Kinderdijk!