from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
province South Holland South Holland
local community Molenlanden
 - land
 - water
0.95  km 2
0.56 km 2
0.39 km 2
Residents 790 (Jan. 1, 2017)
Coordinates 51 ° 53 '  N , 4 ° 38'  E Coordinates: 51 ° 53 '  N , 4 ° 38'  E
prefix 078
Postcodes 2953-2954, 2961
Website Homepage of Kinderdijk
Mills on the Overwaard Polder
Mills mirrored on the canal

Kinderdijk is a small town in the Netherlands , about 15 kilometers southeast of Rotterdam in the province of South Holland . The place belongs to the municipality of Molenlanden on the low Alblasserwaard and lies on the polder Nederwaard. In the northwest, the rivers Lek and Noord , which enclose the place on two sides, flow together to form the Nieuwen Maas. The place for its mills, which in 1997 is known UNESCO list of world heritage were taken.

Origin of name

The name "Kinderdijk" ( German  children's dike ) is explained according to the legends as follows:

  • During the Elisabethenflut in 1421 , a cradle with a crying child and a cat is said to have washed up on the dike unharmed.
  • Another legend, however, says that the dyke is said to have been created by child labor .
  • Another story tells that a certain Jan lived in a big house near Kinderdijk. This Jan had many children and was therefore called "Jan the Child".
  • Another explanation is that the dyke in question was lower compared to the surrounding dykes. The dike was therefore a smaller specimen, a "child".


The first farmers settled in this area around 1000 AD. To the east and south-east are the Overwaard and Blokweer polder, most of which are used for agriculture.

There are many small shipyards along the two rivers near the village . Including the former shipyard Smit & Zoon (since 1688), which grew through amalgamation into today's shipyard association Royal IHC and became a major employer in the area.

The Kinderdijk mills

Kinderdijk mill landscape
Single mill

The Kinderdijk mills are one of the most famous sights in the Netherlands. This is a group of 19 wind pumps that are used to pump the water out of the polders so that the soil can be used for agriculture. The mills pump the water into the Nieuwen Waterschap, which flows into the Lek River. They were built in the 18th century after the older canal systems proved ineffective.

The waterways, which also separate the polders, divide the mills into several groups:

  • To the west of the Nieuwen Waterschap, on the Nederwaard polder, there are eight round mills made of red brick, all of which were built in 1738.
  • On the Overwaard Polder in the east there are eight octagonal, wooden mills directly on the waterway and three similar mills a little further inside the polder. Except for one of the mills in the “interior of the polder” (1761), all were built in 1740.
  • On the Polder Blokweer, southeast of Kinderdijk, there is a single wooden mill, the Blokweerse Molen. She is also known by the nickname “De Blokker” . The year of construction of the original mill is unknown. "De Blokker" fell victim to several fires, most recently in 1997. Since 2001 the mill has been rebuilt and restored. This mill is also the only one in the group in which the paddle wheel is located outside the mill and is thus visible from the outside.

Nowadays pumps (first diesel pumps , now electric pumps ) have taken over the work of the mills. Nevertheless, the mills are still very popular. They are put back into operation on special occasions, such as the Landelijke Molendag (national mill day, see also Vereniging De Hollandsche Molen ). One of the mills on the Nederwaard Polder can even be viewed from the inside, while some others are privately owned and used as residential buildings.

Personalities of the place

See also

Web links

Commons : Kinderdijk  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2017 Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek , accessed on June 5, 2018 (Dutch)