Kinderdijk, Holland

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Holland, Return to the Motherland…
The Kinderdijk

Even though my trip to Holland wasn’t a photography trip, I couldn’t leave without a least a few decent pictures of some windmills, a Dutch icon.

On our way Delft back to Etten-Leur in South Holland, we swung by the Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage site of 19 pristinely preserved windmills. Built around 1740, the windmills were erected as part of the water management plan and drain the excess water from the Alblasserwaard polders (an area of 16 by 32 kilometers) into the river Lek via the Elshout sluices where the water eventually discharges into the sea.

At the height of the region’s productivity in the eighteenth century, there were about 150 windmills and although the 19 remaining are still operational, the water is now moved through a modernized pumping station.

Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk

The Kinderdijk is also the source of the famous folklore, “The Cat and the Cradle:” When the Saint Elizabeth flood of 1421 had subsided, a wooden cradle was spotted on the flood waters, in which a cat jumped to and fro to keep the cradle afloat. When the cradle approached the dry land of the dyke, the locals discovered a baby inside – hence the name Kinderdijk, Dutch for “children’s dyke.”

Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk

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