Kinderdijk – Where the Windmills Are!

We have decided that as long as MyMan’s schedule permits it, we are going to try to do a day trip on Saturdays to see the sites.  So today, we decided to head out to Kinderdijk!  I’d been hearing about the “windmills’ whenever I go to an International Women’s Club meeting, or around the school periodically, and people would ask me if we had been yet.  I would say, no, not yet, but soon!  And then secretly wonder what the hell they were talking about.  So I finally just asked a friend who lives nearby what and where it was.  Once she told me – I knew it would be a good short day trip for us.

  • From the Website:  The Alblasserwaard is a country region in Holland in the south-east of the Dutch province ‘Zuid-Holland’. It also forms the southern part of the ‘Groene Hart’ (Green Heart) national landscape. It is a low-lying, thinly populated polder area that is surrounded by rivers and canals. The Alblasserwaard is crossed by ditches, canals and two small rivers: the Alblas and the Giessen. In the lowest, most western point of the Alblasserwaard, you will find the village of Kinderdijk, where 19 authentic, iconic windmills grace the polder landscape…
  • The Alblasserwaard is a beautiful, extensive peat landscape which is situated below sea level. The history of the Alblasserwaard goes back to over 10,000 years ago, when the wind sculpted sand dunes (called ‘donken’), some of which are still visible in today’s landscape. After the land was populated and depopulated a few times, the Alblasserwaard became permanently inhabited from the year 1000 onwards.
  • During the mid-fourteenth century, two large drainage organisations came into being: the water boards of Overwaard and Nederwaard.  The Alblasserwaard was drained into the river Lek at the lowest point near the village of Kinderdijk. Over here, the main waterways of the Overwaard (Achterwaterschap) and the Nederwaard (Nieuwe Waterschap) came together, even now, only separated by a narrow strip of land. When the water level in the river was low, these waterways could only be individually drained via a series of sluices. This system operated until the new water storage system, a system of boezems (storage basins), was built around 1738.  The increasing drainage problems led to the construction of high boezems. To be able to pump the water from the low boezem into the high one, nineteen windmills were built, which now form the unique Kinderdijk windmill landscape.

On the way from the parking lot (that was a bit a ways off from the site), we passed this adorable house that had an awesome bush maze in the front garden!

image

We had fun walking around look at the windmills.  We could go inside some of them, and that was really interesting as well.  And now for a picture bombardment….I think they are pretty self explanatory!

image  image

image  image

image  image

image  image

image  image

DSC00480   DSC00455

DSC00507  DSC00437

image  image

image  image

image  image

image   DSC00474

This is inside the stone windmill above…

image  image

DSC00502  DSC00465

DSC00464   DSC00461

image  image

This is inside the wooden windmill above…

image  image

The girls did not like the staircases in the windmills!  Typical Dutch style!

image

This was the kitchen (located outside the windmill) where they cooked their meals.  I believe it also served as the bathroom.  Ewwwww.

image  image

They also had a vegetable garden, some chickens, and a couple of goats.

image  DSC00488

image   DSC00493

Walking back, we happened upon this awesome guy…

image

And it’s not complete without the wooden shoe!

image  DSC00475


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s