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.