|Windmills of Kinderdijk
|The windmills of Kinderdijk are located near Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
They are a favorite tourist destination and are illuminated each year in the
month of September. In 1997, the Kinderdijk windmills were placed on the
UNESCO World Heritage list. This group of 19 mills, constructed in 1740,
is the largest concentration of windmills in the Netherlands. They were
used to drain the excess water from the Alblasserwaard polders, which are
situated below sea level. Nowadays, power driven pumping engines do the
job. The Wereld Erfgoed Kinderdijk Foundation maintains and preserves
the windmills. The Netherlands, famous for its old windmills, has over
1,000 still standing.
The name Kinderdijk is Dutch for "Child's Dike." In 1421, during the Saint
Elizabeth flood, the Grote Hollandse Waard flooded, but the Alblasserwaard
polder stayed unflooded. It is said that when the 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. He held no hope
that anything could be living in it, but when it approached, he could see
movement. When the cradle came nearer, a cat could be seen 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 came close enough to the dike, he fished it
out and saw that in it, a baby slept, quiet and dry. This legend has been
published as "The Cat and the Cradle." Griffis, 1918.
|Windmills of the World
Windmills of My Mind
The photos on this page, with the exception of the last one, are thanks to
Wikimedia Commons; the photo directly above is courtesy of Pieter
Haringsma, from his excellent Pictures of Holland site.
Music: The Cat's in the Cradle
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