The 1953 flood disaster is the largest Dutch natural disaster of the 21st century. Due to the high sea tide and wind force 10-12, the dikes at Zeeland, South Holland and North Brabant break. In addition to enormous infrastructure damage, more than 1,800 people and 10,000 animals are killed. The storm destroyed 45,000 homes and forced 75,000 people to flee. Since then, the Netherlands and water have been inextricably linked. With great engineering, the Netherlands has conquered water and we are known worldwide for the Dutch knowledge of water.
Since the Middle Ages, the Dutch have used water to their advantage. With the construction of dikes and flood defenses, mills and pumping stations, large drains were created on which agriculture could be driven. All these innovations have put the Netherlands on the international map in the field of water management. At the end of this century, there will even be a new challenge, the sea level will rise by 20 centimeters. That is why many changes have been seen on the coast in recent decades. By spraying with large material sand, the coastline now remains more or less in place.
The famous Dutch coast is not the only thing that makes the Netherlands so unique, behind it lies a landscape of ditches, canals, canals, ponds, lakes and rivers. Our mills, pumping stations, polders and dikes are world-famous. Almost a third of our country is underwater. If the Netherlands did not protect itself against the water, half of the Netherlands would be underwater. Making the Netherlands a safe country did not happen automatically. Fighting took place for almost every square meter of land. The one time the Dutch won, the other time the sea won. The major hydraulic engineering projects of the past centuries, culminating in the Delta Works, are examples of Dutch knowledge of water.
You can see how we handle and enjoy the water in several places in the Netherlands. Down here are fun and educational sights to visit for children and adults. Below we have selected a top 5 “Dutch knowledge of water” sights for young and old!
- Deltawerken | Neeltje Jans
- Het watersnoodmuseum
- De afsluitdijk
- Het Woudagemaal
- De molens van Kinderdijk
You can say that many Dutch people can be proud of what Dutch engineering has brought us. Just as we can be proud of Dutch design, take a quick look in the webshop and see what our designers have “engineered” in recent times.