Kinderdijk windmills are a complex of 19 windmills which were built in the 18th century. The task of the windmills was and still is to pump out water from the polders which are used for farming. The water is pumped into the Nieuwe Waterschap which is a canal running between the windmills and eventually joins the river lek. The entire area is divided by canals used for pumping water off the polders. This layout is responsible for the placement of the windmills in several groups.
Eight windmills are situated on the Nederwaard Polder, ten windmills are situated on the Overwaard Polder and another windmill, called De Blokker is placed on the polder Blokweeg.
This article gives you some photographic impressions on the site and also provides the co-ordinates for the photographic spots published here.
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Where does the name come from?
The name Kinderdijk is owed to a legend about a sleeping little baby and a starved-out cat who where both washed up in cradle during the huge storm tide in 1421 (Elizabeth Tide). It was due to the cat that steered the cradle and kept is swimming only by jumping around in the little craft.
Therefore, the area was given the name Kinderdijk or Children's Dyke.
How to get to Kinderdijk
The best way to Kinderdijk is by car for travellers coming from BeNeLux or from Germany. Tourists coming from Northrhine Westfalia in Germany can travel on the Dutch A15 and leave at exit 22 Ablasserdam. From there Kinderdijk is already signposted and you will be guided to the car park at Kinderdijk without any problem.
Travellers from the north of Germany can reach the Rotterdam area by motorway, arriving from Utrecht over the A12 switching to the A20 with direction to Rotterdam. At the motorway intersection Terbergsplein (Knooppunt Terbergsplein) leaf the A20 onto the A16 and follow the A16 until the motorway intersection Ridderkerk where you get in lane for the A15 and follow the motorway until exit 22 Ablasserdam. From there it is signposted to Kinderdijk.
Travellers from Belgium mostly arrive over the Dutch motorway A16 and leave onto the Rotterdam South Orbit and follow the direction Gorinchem on the A15. Leave at exit 22 Ablasserdam and follow the signposts to Kinderdijk.
Kinderdijk is a small village in Zuid-Holland, situated on the Polder Nederwaard, about 15 km southeast of Rotterdam. Kinderdijk is world-famous for its 19 windmills which are situated closely to the village. These 19 windmills are a UNESCO world-heritage site and also a major landmark site in the Netherlands. The mills are still working and the area is open to visitors all year 24/7.
A Story in Pictures
The visitor to the Kinderdijk windmills coming by car is first directed to a car park. After having parked your car you will find your way to the ticket office where you can buy a ticket to visit the site. There is also the option of enjoying a cruise on a small leisure boat. If you want to explore the site yourself then just follow the path after leaving the ticket office. The path is shown below:
Kinderdijk Windmills Nederwaard No. 1
Kinderdijk Windmills Overwaard No. 4 to 8
Kinderdijk Windmills Museummolen Nederwaard
Museummolen Nederwaard is one of the windmills open for visitors and can be accessed over a typical Dutch baskule bridge (=draw bridge). The site is very interesting and really worth doing the detour over the bridge. You can have a rest there and watch the windmill in motion or just sit there watching people coming and going. During summer time young folks is usually having a great time jumping from the bridge into the canal. The museum itself shows the inside of a historic windmill and also how people lived in the 18th century when the windmills were built.
Visitors to the site come from all over the planet and speaking English helps a lot when you are out there.
The following images are to give you a bit of an impression on how the site looks like.
Below are some elements of a windmill in detail.
Kinderdijk Windmills Nederwaar No. 5
The windmill Nederwaard No. 5 is situated at the southern tip of the Nederwaard Polder. Access is possible over bridges.
The Post Mill at Kinderdijk "De Blokker"
The windmill called de Blokweerse Molen, better known under the nickname "De Blokker" is a post mill and completely built from wood. This windmill operates a blade wheel which runs on the outside of the mill and can be seen when in operation. The access to the windmill is free. As with the windmills on the other polders the task is to pump out water from the polder to enable farming on the fertile ground.
De Blokker is also a museum. The Museummolen Blokweer is open to the public and can be visited during opening times.
The blow close-up of the windmill De Blokker shows the blade wheel sitting at the side of the post. At the time of the visit the blade wheel was not in operation. As one can see a footpath circumvents the windmill and enables the visitor to have a closer look at the mill from the outside.