Wisboom Visitors Centre
A great start for your windmill adventure
The Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage visitors centre is a great place to start exploring the windmill area. The special multi-screen film is included in your entry ticket, so make yourself comfortable among the old machines of the pumping station and dive right into the story of Kinderdijk and its struggle with the water!
Wisboom pumping station and multi-screen film
Set along the glistening waters of the Kinderdijk basins stands a monumental structure: a vital link that connects the historical windmills and the pair of modern pumping stations by the river dike. This is the stately Wisboom pumping station, where long ago, the water management of Kinderdijk was jettisoned into the future. The first step towards modern times came in the form of a wheezing and pounding steam engine, which was replaced by an electrical pump later on. Here, brute machine force was employed to use the latest technology in a search for better ways to pump the water out to the river beyond the dike. That’s quite a big leap if you start out with a system running on wind power alone. Still, modernisation kept on going, causing even these rugged machines to become outdated by new technological insights. After the new pair of pumping stations took over, a new purpose was found for the Wisboom pumping station. This glorious feat of industrial history is now the visitors centre of Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage.
This glorious feat of industrial history is now our visitors centre
Experiences all around
Once you are inside the Wisboom pumping station, you’re in for a learning journey that takes you through the story behind the Kinderdijk windmills. Take your time as you stroll through history by giving one of the timewheels a spin and listening to stories from long-gone days. Peer into the viewing boxes and imagine how these polder lands would have looked centuries ago. If you have a knack for adventure, then you should give the windmill game a try! In the middle of the visitors centre, you’ll find a real tabletop polder model giving you a bird’s eye view of the whole Alblasserwaard area. The table features miniature windmills that you can operate all by yourself, so get behind the controls and try your hand at harnessing the power of wind and weather. Can you manage to keep the soil wet enough, without causing floods? If so, you might want to consider a career as a miller…
In the old engine room of the Wisboom pumping station, you can still marvel at the sturdy steel pipes, valves, and gauges of the electrical pumps. Here, any techie can feast their eyes on classic machinery, but your eyes are in for a genuine treat once you sit down to enjoy our multi-screen film. As the name suggests, this film is displayed across several screens, on which a motley crew of historical figures explain how the Kinderdijk World Heritage site came about, and why this place is called Kinderdijk in the first place. All in all, the Wisboom visitors centre is the perfect place to start your visit.
Techies are in for a real treat here
Souvenirs, coffee, and good vibes
Of course, you’re always welcome at the Wisboom pumping station to grab a cup of coffee on the go. It also has a nice souvenir shop, where you’ll find everything that’s even remotely related to windmills and Dutch culture. The interior wall of the visitors centre have been decorated with artwork by local artists, which only adds an extra splash of colour to the great vibes of the ancient Wisboom pumping station.
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Get even more out of your visit with the Kinderdijk app, and enjoy audio tours, maps, added information, and much more besides!Read more
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