With Holland comes windmills. More than simply a piece of picturesque scenery, windmills have helped the Dutch live with the water that surrounds them for more than 1,000 years. A visit to Kinderdijk, home to the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands, should be part of every family-friendly itinerary. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, there are 19 windmills that seem to have mastered the art of amazing the half-million or so visitors that come every year from around the world.
The windmills are workhorses, operated by the millers who call them home (15 of the windmills are inhabited) and keep them pumping water so the stretch of land under sea level stays dry. Take a guided tour and be sure to go inside the two museum windmills, Windmill Blokweer and Windmill Nederwaard, where views and wooden shoes are waiting.
Kinderdijk is an easy trip from Amsterdam; it’s about a 40-minute train ride or a 90-minute drive. During summer, the Waterbus makes the scenic journey from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk in 20 minutes.
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Editor’s Note: Dana’s trip to Kinderdijk was sponsored by the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions. As always, our thoughts and opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photo by Dana Rebmann.