The Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands that is world famous for the windmills. They are the largest concentration of old windmills in Holland. There are 19 windmills in total and most are still in use. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Kinderdijk is Dutch for ‘Children’s dike’ and legend has it that it was named this after the Grote Hollandse Waard flood in 1421. Apparently after the storm finished, someone went to the area to see if anything could be saved. What they found in the water was a wooden cradle floating with a cat jumping back and forth on it to keep it balanced and afloat. As they got closer they discovered there was a baby sleeping soundly inside it. This folktale had been published as ‘The Cat and the Cradle.’ This however, has nothing to do with the famous song originally by Harry Chapin released in 1974.
One of the windmills is a museum called the Museummolen and there is also a visitor centre onsite with lots of information. You can hire a bike to ride around the windmills or catch a boat down the canals. Word of advice, go in the summer months, it’s bloody windy there and while the dark storm clouds are good for dramatic photos, it’s not so enjoyable. However Dutch weather is notoriously unpredictable so if you get good weather you are very lucky!
The Kinderdijk is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Netherlands and is definitely well worth the visit. I mean, where else in the world will you see 19 windmills in one small area!?