Water Management in North Holland

“God cre­at­ed the world, but the Dutch cre­at­ed their own coun­try”, goes a well known say­ing. In fact, the Dutch have been shap­ing their coun­try for near­ly a mil­len­ni­um, fight­ing against the water, but also learn­ing to live with it. Large parts of the Nether­lands were once cov­ered by water. Start­ing in the 16th cen­tu­ry, the Dutch reclaimed lakes with the help of wind­mills, built dykes and cre­at­ed arti­fi­cial land. But despite such land recla­ma­tion projects, most Dutch peo­ple were still con­tin­u­ous­ly sur­round­ed by water and had to find ways to live with it. A good exam­ple is the island of Marken, locat­ed in the for­mer Zuiderzee. As pic­turesque as it might appear today, its inhab­i­tants strug­gled with flood­ings for cen­turies — until the Zuiderzee became lake IJs­selmeer in 1932.

Let us take you on a tour to the North of Hol­land, start­ing in Ams­ter­dam. We’ll show you the very first pold­er cre­at­ed with the help of wind­mills, explain about land recla­ma­tion in the Gold­en Age, chal­lenges over the cen­turies and cur­rent approach­es to water management.

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Programme: Water Management in North Holland

  • Beem­ster: the first pold­er cre­at­ed with wind­mills. Expla­na­tions about the project his­to­ry and design of the polder

  • Scher­mer: state-of-the-art pold­er from the Gold­en Age. Vis­it to the muse­um windmill

  • Marken: for­mer fish­er­men’s island in lake IJs­selmeer. Expla­na­tions about the his­to­ry of the island and local archi­tec­tur­al styles, future chal­lenges relat­ed to water man­age­ment and cli­mate change

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