Episode 88 – Postcards from Kinderdijk

NOTE: These travel pictures are from travels prior to us becoming nomadic in 2018. Like most of the world, we are staying put right now until the threat from COVID19 is either over or preventable via a vaccine.

We began our 2013 European river cruise in Amsterdam, making our first stop in Kinderdijk, where the canal and 19 original windmills (dating from 1736 AD) are a UNESCO world heritage site, since most windmills in the Netherlands have now been replaced by the modern kind. Windmill operations were originally governed by elected “Water Boards”; here there were separate Boards on each side of the canal. One Board decided on stone mills, the other on wooden mills, resulting in a centuries-long competition to determine which were better. We never did learn the “official” outcome, but it was only the stone windmills that we were allowed to tour….

Inside one of the old stone mills. Beds were built into the walls, since the mill’s mechanisms took up the centre area. It’s hard to imagine how cramped it must have been at mealtimes, with an “average” family size of 10! A photo of the last family to occupy this windmill was displayed in the living area.

When you look at the huge water mill gears, right in the middle of each “home”, you can understand why everyone in the family needed to wear “safety boots”.

Sailing down the Rhine out of Kinderdijk toward Cologne, we got a great view of the stunning bell tower of Sint Stevenskerk (St. Stephen’s Church) in Nijmegen, Netherlands, built in 1273 AD and restored in 1960 to repair damages from WWII. Work was ongoing while we were there, as evidenced by the crane in the photo. Amazing church architecture proved to be a major theme on our cruise.

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