On the last saturday of 2019 Vienna and I went to Kinderdijk. Home to the most iconic Dutch buildings, windmills! When we arrived it was immediately clear we were not the only ones. All the parking lots were full. Kinderdijk is accessible for free, but when you want to see visit the museum mills, the pumping station or use the sightseeing boats, you have to buy an entry ticket. First we watched a short movie about the history of Kinderdijk and then the real photography could start. I started out with a 55-200mm f/4.0 – f/5.6 but I soon changed to the 10-20mm f/4.5 – f/5.6. This was my first time outside playing with the wide-angle lens.

Kinderdijk is situated in the Alblasserwaard polder at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. 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 have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997.

About Kinderdijk

The name Kinderdijk is Dutch for “Children dike”. During the Saint Elizabeth flood of 1421, the Grote Hollandse Waard flooded, but the Alblasserwaard polder stayed unflooded. It is often said that when the horrendous storm had subsided, a villager went to the dike between these two areas to inspect what could be salvaged. In the distance he saw a wooden cradle floating on the water. As it came nearer, some movement was noted, and upon closer investigation, a cat was found, trying to keep it in balance by leaping back and forth in such a manner that water couldn’t flood the cradle. As the cradle eventually came close enough to the dike for a bystander to pick up the cradle, he saw that a baby was quietly sleeping inside it, nice and dry. The cat had kept the cradle balanced and afloat. This folktale and legend has been published as “The Cat and the Cradle” in English.

The mills of Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk is basically a path with water on both sides and a lot of windmills. There are two museum mills in Kinderdijk. One of them is the biggest and oldest mill, the other one quite a lot smaller. So we followed the path towards the first museum mill. That’s the mill on the photo’s on the left side. Inside this mill you can see how small and low the rooms are. People still live in these mills. It’s remarkable how whole families with sometimes six children, if not more, lived inside such a small building. After visiting the first museum mill, we walked further towards the next museum mill. This mill has only the ground floor to visit. After we walked back towards the main path we saw a row of five mills next to each other (see photo 5 above). After this photo it was time to walk back towards the starting point. Here we had a few drinks and when the sun went down, we could access the panorama roof on top of the restaurant. I didn’t bring my tripod so no nice pictures were made there. This will be a good lesson for the next time!

Thank you for reading. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about my day in Kinderdijk! I highly recommend you to visit Kinderdijk sometime. Kinderdijk is a great place for photography and you can visit it anytime. If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comments at the bottom of this page. Or contact me via the contact page.