Taste the history in the Blokweer en Nederwaard
Kinderdijk’s two museum mills make you see, hear, smell, and feel what living in a real Dutch windmill must have been like. Dive straight into history and step inside our museum mills Blokweer and Nederwaard.
All the windmills here at Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage are exceptional, that’s a fact. Still, our two museum windmills stand out even in such special company, simply because they are a touch more extraordinary than their iconic neighbours. In the Nederwaard and Blokweer museum mills, as these extra-special mills are known, you are in for a close encounter with history. You’ll step right into the life of a miller. Experience real working windmills dating back hundreds of years, converted into living museums: welcome to the Kinderdijk museum mills!
While the sails fly, it feels as though time has stood still in here.
Get in touch with the heart of the machine
In a sense, the Blokweer and Nederwaard museum mills are like time capsules, where everything breathes the atmosphere of long-gone days. You’ll feel like a time traveller as you explore a mix of black and white photos, items used here by the miller families, and of course, the mighty, beating wooden hearts of the windmills themselves. Both our museum mills are different, and unique in their own way: from the way they were built to the various aspects of the miller’s life they let you experience. Your Kinderdijk ticket is all you need to get inside, so grab your chance and take a dive straight into history!
Nederwaard museum mill
The first museum mill that you’ll encounter at our World Heritage is Nederwaard. This brick basin windmill was built in 1738, but it still makes its rounds as if it had just been completed. Here, the Hoek family have been practicing the miller’s profession for generations, living the miller’s life to the fullest. At times, that meant living in the mill with a family of up to thirteen (!) children… Once you’ve had a look around the Nederwaard mill, you’ll realise how crowded such an existence must have been. The mill’s interior features an exhibition of old black and white photos, some of which are straight from the Hoek family archives. As the sails spin outside, and the interior mechanism creaks and groans, you’ll get a first-hand experience of how a miller must have felt. It’s cosy, but it’s cramped, and the work never ceases. Feel free to try one of the bedsteads for yourself, and then try to imagine what it must have been like sitting in the tiny living room, surrounded by a dozen of your siblings running around shouting and screaming…
Blokweer museum mill
A bit further down the banks of the basin, the striking silhouette of Blokweer museum mill awaits your visit. This so-called ‘wip mill’ is different from its Kinderdijk peers, because the entire top section of the mill can be turned to face the wind. The exterior of the mill also provides a great view of how the scoop wheel moves the water, because Blokweer has an external wheel fixed to the side of the structure. This mill stands out not just by its shape, but also by its age. Blokweer is much older than its neighbours. Its original proof of purchase was recently discovered in an ancient archive, proving that this wip mill originates from 1631. It turns out that Blokweer predates our other mills by well over a century. In the surrounding mill yard, you’ll discover that a few goats and a vegetable plot were a necessity for any miller trying to keep his family well-fed. The moment you step across Blokweer’s threshold, you are catapulted almost one hundred years back in time. Inside, the millers walk around in traditional miller’s garments, to help them act as if Blokweer was trapped in the nineteen-fifties. Obviously, they’ll slip back into their regular jeans and shirts once they get home at night, but while you are visiting their museum mill, they’ll do anything to make you feel life as it used to be in and around a genuine Dutch windmill: romantic, yes indeed, but a hard existence nonetheless!
Step right back into our history
- Buy your ticket nów online with discount
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