#783 Windmils and Canals: Tourism and Water Management of Netherlands

If people visit Netherlands, it will be totally incomplete if they don’t visit windmills and canals. Windmill and canal, almost all people know that they are icons of Netherlands that show Dutch creativity and innovation. Those are very famous and worth to see for tourists who visit this country.

Many countries may have windmill and canal too, but not significant as Netherlands has. Other countries only have few and they are new developed. While in Netherlands, we can find windmills and canals in almost all provinces, and they have been developed since centuries ago.

The canals are a symbol of Amsterdam, capital of Netherlands, and of great cultural and historical value. The length of the canals is more than one hundred kilometers, with 90 islands, and 1,500 bridges. There are 3 main and old canals in this city, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizergracht that have been developed since 17th century. In 2010 this 17th canal ring area in Amsterdam has been submitted to one of UNESCO World Heritage List. Because of the spectacular canals, Amsterdam is called as “Venice of The North”.


Windmills in Kinderdijk

Place in Netherlands where we can find many old windmills is Kinderdijk, about 25 kilometers from Rotterdam. There are 19 old and sturdy windmills here that were constructed in 1740 as part of a large water management system to prevent floods. Now, this windmills become a symbol of Dutch water management. Because of the spectacular sight of the windmills in this Area, in 1997 the area was awarded to one of UNESCO World Heritage List.

Windmills and canals are special things for tourism in Netherlands. But, actually there are other functions, that are very important, to drain new land, manage water and control flood in the country. As we know, nearly one-third of Netherlands area lies below sea level or just slightly above it. There are some areas which used to exist out of nothing but sea, called polder. The land of polder has been reclaimed from the sea. The sea water is drained using the windmills.

Not all nations in the world have this high creativity and enjoy innovating like Dutch. Many countries lie in higher lands but sometimes their people don’t understand how to manage water well and prevent flood.

It’s different with Netherlands. Since some centuries ago, Dutch people have used admirable technology to create and reclaim land from sea. They have drained the sea water using windmills to create new land. They also have constructed a great canal system in order to prevent flood and to manage water in the low-land area in a better way. This great technology has started in the Middle Ages and still continue to the present day. And it’s a decent reason for the windmills and canals of Netherlands to get reward by UNESCO as one of World Heritage List.

– ditulis oleh Sitti Salmiah

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