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Kinderdijk Cruise Photos

From: Rotterdam-Kinderdijk Cruise

2. A visit to Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk pumping station

About an hour after leaving Rotterdam, Nehalennia ties up at a pier next to the Kinderdijk pumping station. Passengers have between 90 minutes and two hours to explore the windmill area, which is just beyond the footbridge and the grass-covered dike.

Kinderdijk toilets and souvenir shop

Just past the pumping station is a building with toilets, food, and a souvenir shop. Cars aren't allowed beyond this point, but bicycles are, so observe the lane lines on the path.

Note: Admission is free at Kinderdijk, although you'll pay small fees if you ride the canal boat and go into the working windmill.

Kinderdijk map

A map of Kinderdijk shows the layout of the canal and its 19 windmills. (Nehalennia's pier is at the bottom of the map, on the Nieuwe Maas river.)

Kinderdijk history sign

Signs explain the history and working of the Kinderdijk windmills and drainage system. (Most signs have both Dutch and English text.)

Kinderdijk windmill sign

In the days before modern communications, windmill operators who served the public (such as millers who turned grain into flour) would position their windmills' blades to indicate whether the mills were working or offline.

Kinderdijk Molentocht canal boat

As you continue down the path, you'll see a wide canal to your left. This is the drainage canal for the surrounding polders, which are below sea level. Excess water from the canal is pumped into the Nieuwe Maas River near the entrance to the park.

If you're unable or unwilling to walk the short distance to the windmills, a small sightseeing boat will take you up the canal and back for a few euros.

Kinderdijk canal and windmills

Kinderdijk has 19 windmills along its L-shaped canal. During July and August, at least one windmill is working every Saturday. (If you don't mind seeing the windmills at rest, you can visit any day of the week year-round.)

Kinderdijk windmill photo

This photo shows the design of a typical windmill at Kinderdijk. The main structure (which contains the mill-keeper's living quarters) is made of brick, with the windmill mechanism rotating on top of the structure to face the wind. The blades have retractable sails.

Kinderdijk working windmill sign

If you're curious to see what a windmill looks like inside, you can visit a working windmill from mid-March until November 1. The windmill is open daily, and the mill-keeper will show you around.

Kinderdijk windmill footbridge

A footbridge leads to the working windmill, where you'll pay a small fee for admission.

Kinderdijk windmills panorama

If you're pressed for time, skip the working windmill and continue along the footpath, enjoying the view of windmills on both sides of the canal.

Kinderdijk windmills and dike

Different views of windmills are at every turn. Here, two windmills are framed by tall grass.

Kinderdijk canal boat

During our visit to Kinderdijk, the canal sightseeing boat passed us as we walked back toward the river and Nehalennia.

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Photo gallery: Cruise and Kinderdijk