You stopped the windmill.
Kinderdijk would have flooded without the use of windmills years ago. If you are interested in experiencing what this was like, press 'start' to continue the story 'Battle below sealevel'.
This is Kinderdijk around 750 BC. A wild, swampy, uninhabitable region. The rivers surrounding it regularly overflow, flooding the entire area.
Before people can live here, a solution for the periodic floods will have to be found. It was decided that digging ditches and diverting streams would allow water to flow away...
It's working! Kinderdijk is largely dry and has become suitable for human occupation. It's now about 1270 AD and the sea has also risen.
As the dry land subsides, it becomes apparent that it's only a matter of time before Kinderdijk is under water again.
What people feared has happened: water is flowing back into Kinderdijk again. A new solution for the flooding will have to be found. Building a dike is viewed as the answer to their problems.
Around 1365 AD, Kinderdijk is surrounded by a dike that holds back the rivers. The area is dry, but the water still poses a threat. The dry land continues to subside, while sea levels continue to rise. Waterways have to be redirected.
Water management in Kinderdijk becomes increasingly structured. The two waterways with the central quay in the middle redirect the water to the lowest-lying location. Sluice gates are used to discharge the water at appropriate moments.
Late at night, between 18 and 19 November, everyone is surprised by a dike breach. Water flows into the area through the dikes at several breach points. Water pressure had exceeded what the dikes could handle. The people of Kinderdijk face a challenge; they will have to find a better system of water management...
The water management at Kinderdijk is complete! 19 windmills are built over the years and the water is stored at various levels (in catchments) at a height suitable for discharging at a later point.
The windmills are later replaced by various types of pumps. A high-tech water management system services the area today.
Come to Kinderdijk and see for yourself how we control the water. Visit the windmill, the Wisboom pumping station and the workshop.
What does a miller's life look like, where does the name Kinderdijk come from... We'll tell you all about it.
See you in Kinderdijk!
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