Biokaas Kinderdijk is located in the windmill scenery of Kinderdijk, The Netherlands, at the outer border of the town Alblasserdam.
A unique place due to the fact that in Kinderdijk has the highest windmill density per square meter, worldwide. The
nearest mill is situated only 250 meters away, the Nederwaard 8.
In between all these mills there is also one accessible for visitors. The museum windmill (Nederwaard 2) can easily be
reached from our farm, it is only 1 kilometer away; from the "official" entrance of Kinderdijk the museum mill can be
reached after 800 meters. This mill is fully operational and has a preserved interior from 1956. In and around this
location you can learn more about the background of why the windmill scenery was created centuries ago. As well you can
see live how the technology of waterpumping via windmills works, as well as the operations of a mill from top to
bottom. The on-site miller can answer all your remaining questions.
Around the year 1400 people started draining the Alblasserwaard polder. The main reason was to enable the
peatland to be used for agricultural activities, something Biokaas Kinderdijk nowadays still benefits from. The
drainage canals were excavated by hand. In order to make sure that the water could be removed, several sluices had to
be built. The reason of selecting Kinderdijk for these activities was because in this most western part of the
Alblasserwaard polder the ebb level of the water was the lowest. For this reason with the least effort the most water could be channeled.
A characteristic of peatland is that it reduces in volume when water is removed; this also causes it to lower in
height. For that reason the height difference between river and polder was increasing, causing the drainage to become
more and more difficult. This caused the constructing of the Kinderdijk mills around 1740, following the so-called
"boezem"-system. A "boezem" is a canal that is initially meant to store water instead of enabling logistics via
water. The water was first pumped from the polder into the lower canal (Lage Boezem). Then the mills on the lower
polder side (Nederwaard of Alblasserdam) pumped it from the lower canal to the higher canal (Hoge Boezem). Finally the
mills on the higher polder side (Overwaard of Nieuw-Lekkerland) pumped the water from the higher canal to
the river Lek (originated from the river Rhine).
Nowadays all windmill tasks have been taken over by pumping stations, one of which is located in Kinderdijk. More
information (in Dutch language) about the Kinderdijk dewatering history can be found via:
The windmill scenery of Kinderdijk is since 1997 placed on the World Heritage List of Unesco and is therefore
considered as "irreplaceable, unique and in ownership of all mankind".