Monday, April 8, 2013

Inside a Kinderdijk Windmill

Welcome to Windmill 2

Journey with me to South Holland to Kinderdijk, which is situated in a polder in the Alblasserwaard, at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers.  Here you can step back in time to the 1740s where you'll find 19 windmills that were built to control the water levels in the area.   Today, these are no longer in use, but they have been preserved and are part of a UNESCO Heritage site.

What Was Life Like in a Windmill

You've probably seen the television commercial where a boy is telling his grandpa how good kids have it these days.   That made me think back to many centuries ago and wonder just what was it like to live in a windmill?

We visited the Kinderdijk during our Tulip Time River Cruise a few years back and thought we'd dust off these pictures and share them with our readers.   Click here for more images.

Approaching the windmill, you see signs of life in the shuttered windows - it looks cheerful and very inviting.

Stepping inside the windmill, the first thing you notice is a very small, but functional living space.  A lamp supplements the lighting coming in through the windows.  The room is filled with living essentials. There's a sewing machine, chairs, stove, pots and pans, and a table to name a few things you see.  In fact everything you need is neatly in its place.

A made-up bed is tucked into an alcove in the wall with just enough room for someone to sleep comfortably. Everyone has their private "bedroom" in the walls.

There are no squared corners in this house inside a windmill.   The rounded structure necessitates organizing belongings such that it fits in the small area.   The walls are part of the storage space with boots hanging there for easy access.

It was necessary for the occupants to get access to the top of the windmill, to make repairs for example.   Wooden staircases provide access to the upper stories of the windmill.

This was a working structure primarily with the family accommodations required so that the windmill could be monitored constantly.   The other people in the area depended on these families.    Before the windmills, there were problems with the water level.   Keeping these windmills working was very critical.

We hope you've enjoyed your short visit to this windmill in Kinderdijk.  We'll share more about our visits in Holland in other posts.

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