A network of 19 windmills was built around 1740 to drain the polder of Kinderdijk and surrounding polders. (Polders are areas of land below sea level that are protected by dikes.)
The windmilles stand in neat rows along an L-shaped drainage canal, where they pumped water from the surrounding polders, until steam and electric pumps offered more reliable protection against flooding.
This group of mills is the largest concentration of windmills in the Netherlands. And nowhere in the world you will find as many windmills as near the village of Kinderdijk.
The foundation “Wereld Erfgoed Kinderdijk” maintains and preserves the windmills in Kinderdijk. The preservation is not limited to the windmills themselves, but also covers the area in which the windmills are situated.
The windmilles were placed on the list of UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.
The Kinderdijk windmill area is situated in the Alblasserwaard between the rivers Lek and Merwede, about 25 kilometres from Rotterdam.
The 19 windmills at Kinderdijk symbolise the way in which the Dutch have managed the water. For centuries, they have kept the land dry, which had been ravaged by subsidence and floods.