I love windmills. For those of us with one foot firmly implanted in Nostalgia Land, the magnificent sight of the Dutch windmill takes us back to a magical time when clogs were the shoes of the day and baggy black pants didn’t only belong to teenage boys.
There was a time not so long ago that the windmills of Holland numbered in the thousands. On a windy day the sails of the mills could be seen turning from kilometres away across the lush green flatlands, not divided by fences but by waterways. Those days are long gone. The waterways are still there and over three hundred of the mills remain, but now, the water is moved by electric pumps, so the sails of the mills turn no more.
The World’s largest group of windmills can be seen at the Kinderdijk, a twenty-minute drive from Rotterdam. At the Kinderdijk there are nineteen windmills all lovingly maintained to perfection. Eighteen of these windmills are homes to Dutch families lucky enough to have a piece of Holland’s history, for their very own. The nineteenth windmill is a museum open to the public, opening times are shown below.
The oldest windmill dates back to 1738. Two years ago the Kinderdijk suffered a tragic loss when one of the mills was destroyed by fire. The mill has since been rebuilt on the site and it’s impossible for the non-local to pick the difference between that and the originals.
The Kinderdijk is the perfect family day out. For those visiting Holland this summer (northern hemisphere) it is a must on your agenda. With it’s open countryside and beautiful canals it is the ideal family picnic spot.
There is a very nice café located at the start of the Kinderdijk. Although hotdogs don’t feature on the menu of the day, the café is perfect for an afternoon cuppa and a slice of apple pie, as only the Dutch can make it.
For anyone who thinks that Amsterdam has the country’s most beautiful landmarks (and I use that word loosely), you really must take a day out to admire the countryside around Rotterdam, the city of the World’s largest harbour and newly rebuilt shopping centrum. But that’s another story.
Summer Mar 16 – Oct 27 2013: 09.00 -18.00 h Winter: Sat & Sun: 11.00-16.00 h Jan 1 From Rotterdam Zuidplein: 90 (Utrecht), stop: Molenkade
Adults: € 6,00 Children: € 4,50
Nederwaard +31 (0)78 691 28 30