Aug. 10, 2019: Wisboom Pumps, Kinderdijk, Holland

 

Famously, people say that God made the Dutch, but the Dutch made Holland. What the quip doesn't say is that the sea keeps trying to take it back.

At Kinderdijk, where the land was drained in the 14th century, the sea was winning by the 1740s, leading to construction of a system of nineteen windmills to manage a system of reservoirs and canals to keep the land above water.

But even that system wasn't the last word in how to pump water; in 1868 the Wisboom Pumping Station was built to house steam-powered pumps like the one above to keep the system going.

Today's pumps are electric, and the Wisboom Pumping Station serves as a visitor center for the popular—some would say too popular—visitor attraction.

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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