Monday, 22 December 2008

World Heritage, Windmills of Kinderdijk.










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Last week I had a post about UNESCO, now it's W for World Heritage, which is protected by UNESCO.

World Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Bryggen in Bergen/Norway and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage. And also the windmills of Kinderdijk/Holland!

What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

One of the cultural and natural treasures of the Netherlands is the windmill group of Kinderdijk. This is not the first time I write about them. Six months ago I posted an entry for ABC about these windmills.In the Netherlands, the drainage system is an important matter. The Dutch need a well developed water control system in order to keep large areas from being flooded, because some parts of the Netherlands are below sea level.


The problems with water became more and more apparent in the 13th century. Large canals, called 'weteringen', were dug to get rid of the excess water in the polders. However, the drained soil started setting, while the level of the river rose due to the river's sand deposits. After a few centuries, an additional way to keep the polders dry was required.

It was decided to build a series of windmills, with a limited capacity to bridge water level differences, but just able to pump water into a reservoir at an intermediate level between the soil in the polder and the river; the reservoir could be pumped out into the river by other windmills whenever the river level was low enough; the river level has both seasonal and tidal variations.
This pumping is no longer done by the mills now but by an electric engine.
All windmills were built around 1740, except the one that was on fire some years ago. No new mills are being built anymore, but they are kept in good condition.


Due to a very busy week, I post two memes in one: this is for "that's My World" hosted by Klaus,Sandy,Ivar,Wren,Fishing Guy & Louise and "ABC"hosted by Denise Nesbitt. I should like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy 2009. And may we meet after the holiday in good spirits and a wonderful blogging mood! For more ABC posts click on logo in the sidebar.

34 comments:

ewok1993 said...

beautiful windmills. oh to visit those windmills is a dream of mine.

Sara G said...

WOW, wonderful post and awesome photo slide show!!
Thanks so much for sharing.
Take care and Happy Holiday's to you and your family from ours.

Sylvia K said...

Wonderful post and photo slide. Thank you so much and may you have a joyous and happy holiday season!

Natural Moments said...

Our world heritage definitely shows the diversity and beauty that life shares with one another.

The Rice Addict said...

Great post for this week! I enjoyed looking at the slide show.

fishing guy said...

Wil: That was a neat post with a lot of special from your world.

imac said...

Just love those Windmills.

Pam said...

Hi, I'm visiting via Barbara Martin's site. I have very much enjoyed my visit and look forward to your after Christmas posts. My husband's family, many many generations back came from Rotterdam.(There is some talk in the family history of a direct lineage from a sea captain from here).As young backpackers, we went to Holland thirty years ago and loved it. That was a long time ago now!. I enjoyed your slide show.

ViennaDaily said...

I'd love to see real windmills from your part of the world! They are always picturesque!

See you next year and thanks for all the wonderful photos we shared!

starnitesky said...

Hi! I have a big apology to make - you awarded me an 'I Love Your Blog' award back in October and I didn't acknowledge it on my blog. Thank you very much I do appreciate it. I have not been blogging lately for various reasons so I will write about it on my blog in the New Year.

Have a Happy Christmas - I will 'see' you in the new year.

The Good Life in Virginia said...

what a great post and i enjoyed reading every bit of it. thanks for sharing the slide show with us and the interesting information.
and a happy holidays from central virginia to you.

Ken Conger Photography said...

Thx for stopping by. Really enjoyed the slide show. My fav is the mill with the water in the front. Happy Holidays. Blue Skies.

kayleen said...

Wonderfully informative post. Windmills have fascinated me for years.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for the education!

Barbara Martin said...

Thank you for showing how windmills work. Splendid and educational.

All the best over Chritmas and New Year, and may you have good times with relatives and friends.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Fascinating and wonderful post, these World Heritage sites are all so woorthwhile keeping, Merry Christmas.

Marites said...

i like your post and the historical story about those windmills. it's really nice. my world is here..http://maritestravels.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-world5-mana-house-jp-laurel-ave.html

Abraham Lincoln said...

I looked at the windmills and found some of them to be in remarkably new condition. I suppose they do make new ones or refurbish old ones.

And do they still use them for the same purposes?

Lakshmi said...

I love windmills..In India we have just started harnessing power from them.

RuneE said...

Those really are worthy of the UNESCO list! I appreciated the history too, but must admit that I have never seen a proper Dutch windmill at close quarters before (only Danish and Swedish, but some of them were of a simpler type).

Merry Christmas!

Bear Naked said...

Wonderful slide show and educational information about the Windmills of Kinderdijk.
Seasons greetings from my blog to your blog.


Bear((( )))

antigoni said...

Very thoughtful and important post, Wil. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Merry Christmas.

babooshka said...

Once again a very comprehensive thoughtful and eductational post.

Old Lady Lincoln said...

What wonderful windmills. Merry Christmas to you Wil and your family.

photowannabe said...

My wish is the same for you. May the New Year bring you peace and joy.

spacedlaw said...

Have a great holiday!
Kinderdijk is a wonderful site (and a great W).

Aileni said...

I am glad the windmills are cared for. Yuletide Greetings.

Liz said...

Lovely windmills.

Have a super Christmas and a bloggy-happy New Year!

I love your header too.

anthonynorth said...

Windmills - of the old style - are fast disappearing. A beautiful post.

Neva said...

Very nice....Merry Christmas to you.

Rinkly Rimes said...

Single windmills haven't the elegance of a whole row. I looked them up in Google and I've saved a lovely sunset picture of them. May I write a poem about them?

Hyde DP said...

excellent information about the windmills.

Dragonstar said...

Wonderful post! I'm sorry I'm so late this week.
Best wishes, on behalf of the Team.

Thérèse said...

Thank you!
J'ai eu un grand plaisir à venir sur vôtre site voir le panorama sur les moulins de Kinderdijk que j'ai vus de mes yeux en juillet 2004 lors d'un voyage pour visiter une amie hollandaise qui habite Rotterdam.
Ce fut un magnifique séjour.