Photographer's Note

I visited Kinderdijk in June of this year, were I took this picture. As you can see it was a cloudy day, but still a nice enough day to walk along the windmills and take pictures.

Here's some info on Kinderdijk from the internet:

Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands, partly in the municipality Nieuw-Lekkerland, partly in the municipality of Alblasserdam, South Holland province, the Netherlands. It lies about 15km east of Rotterdam.

Kinderdijk is in a polder at the confluence of the rivers Lek and Noord. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best known Dutch tourist sites. They were placed on the list of UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.

The name Kinderdijk is Dutch for "Child's Dike". In 1421 during the Saint Elizabeth flood of 1421, the Grote Hollandse Waard flooded, but the Alblasserwaard polder stayed unflooded. It is said that when the terrible storm had subsided, someone went on to the dike between these two areas, to see what could be saved. He saw in the distance a wooden cradle floating. There was no hope that anything would be living in it, but when it approached, movement was seen. When the cradle came nearer, someone saw that a cat was in the cradle trying to keep it in balance by jumping back and forth so that no water could come into it. When the cradle eventually came near the dike, someone fished the cradle out and saw that in it a baby slept quiet and dry.

Kinderdijk is well known for its numerous windmills. In the Netherlands, the drainage system is an important matter. The Dutch need a large drainage system in order to keep the inhabitants from drowning, because some parts of the Netherlands are below sea level. In Alblasserwaard, problems with water became more and more apparent in the 13th century. The Dutch dug large canals to get rid of the excess water in the polders. These canals are called "weteringen", and they can still be found all over the country. However, this method was sufficient only for a short period of time. The ground started to lower again because of its structure and the level of the river began to rise at the same time. An additional way of maintaining the level of the water in the polders was required. The Dutch decided to build a series of windmills. The windmills would pump water into a reservoir until the level of the river had reached a certain level, in which pumping water into the river was made possible again. Gaining full control over the water was never possible. In the past, the residents of the Netherlands suffered from many severe floods.

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Additional Photos by Nel Diepstraten (NellyD) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 378 W: 0 N: 426] (1874)
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