Friday, August 04, 2006


No where else in there world are there so many windmills at one place than in Kinderdijk (Child dike). There are many stories about the name's origin. Some say that during a storm 1421, a cot floated into the area with a baby inside, sleeping peacefully and still dry and alive. People say a cat jumped up and down inside in an attempt to balance the cot so that water wouldn't get in.
Another, more sinister story, is that the dikes in the area were built by children.

Whatever the story, the 19 mills that stand along the banks of Kinderdijk were instrumental in moving excess water from the Alblasserwaard polders (land claimed through draining water) into the nearby river Lek. Through the use of wind power, the mills pumped water from the lower polders to the higher levels in a sort of 'ascending stairway' of canals, which eventually lead into the river. Today this is done by a pompstation. The windmills are now part UNESCO's cultural heritage sites.

More pictures on my travelog.
Kinderdijk I
Kinderdijk II

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