Agenda | National Mill Day
Agenda

National Mill Day

12 May 2018

National Mill Day is a highlight of the year, on which the Dutch mills and their millers take centre stage for one day. On Saturday May 12, Kinderdijk World Heritage invites you to come over and celebrate an essential piece of genuine Dutch culture!

Miller Bjorn rolled up the sails. And clamps them.

Miller Bjorn rolled up the sails. And clamps them.

National Mill Day: mills and millers at the centre of interest

May 12 2018 is the one day of the year when the Dutch millers are at the centre of interest: it’s National Mill Day! All across the country, mills of all kinds are opening their doors to the public, but for the nineteen windmills of Kinderdijk World Heritage, this day of celebrations is just too good an opportunity not to go all out! Dutch history is full of tales about flapping sails, whirring gears, and heroic millers struggling against the elements, which by itself is plenty of reason to come and have a look at the wooden hearts of our machines. Presently, however, we see more and more wind power turbines rising all around us, so the future is promising some smooth sailing for windmills as well. All in all, we have every reason to celebrate our national windmill affection once a year, and you are very welcome to join us!

Centuries of Dutch technological marvels deserve a day in the spotlights!

Crucial for centuries

Did you know that our windmills are still on the job, even though they have been part of our polder countryside for centuries? Of course, technology has seen some dramatic changes since the old days, so our mills got some help from modern pumping stations, but they are still here to help us when needed. In the Second World War, for example, all fuel for the diesel pumps was rationed. We were lucky to still have these mills handy here in Kinderdijk to keep the land dry, or everything would have been under water in a matter of weeks.

Come and watch heritage spring to life

Dutch people obviously don’t often stop to wonder at how special it is to be living below sea level. We have other things to worry about. Still, thousands of tourists come to Kinderdijk every year, to see for themselves how we pulled off that amazing feat. After all, we have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage List for a reason: our forefathers invented draining of these wet polder soils by windmills, and these days, people from all over the world benefit from the pioneering technology we developed to do it. Pretty amazing for a tiny country like the Netherlands, don’t you think?

Step right in at Kinderdijk World Heritage

Even though it remains a bit unreal until you think about it, Dutch windmills have been keeping our feet dry for hundreds of years now. That is why the National Mill Day is such a great opportunity for people of all ages to see from up close how it all actually works. Want to know the best place to experience that ongoing struggle with the water? Well, guess what… Kinderdijk World Heritage of course! On this special day, our millers go the extra mile to show you what they’re all about. So grab the chance to pick the brain of a rugged miller: smell, see, hear, and feel how the wooden components of these giant machines labour all around you on the national Mill Day at Kinderdijk World Heritage!

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