Holland, Land of Water
Holland, Land of Water
Discover how water shaped the Netherlands, from its unique landscapes to the extraordinary water engineering projects.
Holland has an intimate relationship with water. Nearly one third of our land is below sea level. It has shaped Holland, from our unique landscapes and beautiful heritage to our water engineering feats to keep our feet dry. Whether you are traveling alone or with a group, whether you are a culture or nature lover, Holland Land of Water has something to offer for everyone.
- Admire the Delta Works, our line of defense against the water.
- Visit Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the historic water city of Dordrecht.
- Enjoy the beautiful natural landscape at Weerribben-Wieden National Park, the biggest peat both in Northwestern Europe.
Defense line aginst the water: The Delta Works
You can also visit the Delta Works, one of today’s wonders of the world. After the Watersnoodramp floods in 1953, which killed over 1,800 people, everybody agreed that it should never happen again. Holland conceived of the Delta Works to achieve this. This line of defense against the sea is an absolute must-see for those who wonder how Holland protects itself from the water. Check out the Oosterscheldekering, a unique 8 km storm surge barrier, or spend the day at Neeltje Jans Delta Park, a water theme park on an island in the Eastern Scheldt.
Experiencing culture at the Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site and in Dordrecht
If you think about Holland, windmills come to mind. Did you know that those windmills play an important part in preventing flooding? The nineteen windmills at picturesque Kinderdijk have come to symbolize Dutch water management and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. They have been keeping the surrounding landscape dry since 1740. Visitors can look around in the two museum mills, and discover how the mills work at the Molenwerkplaats.
Combine Kinderdijk with a visit to Dordrecht, Holland’s oldest city. This city of water boasts some thousand monuments, including the 13th century Augustine Monastery and Great Cathedral. Culture lovers will be happy here, as the collection of paintings at Dordrechts Museum is internationally renowned. Our tip: stroll along the old harbors and admire the beautiful views!
Giethoorn, the Venice of the North
Giethoorn is one of the most beautiful villages in Holland. This idyllic place illustrates how the Dutch live with and on the water: the natives live on small peat islands that are interconnected by over 170 wooden bridges. Take a tour on an electric boat or tour boat and discover the beautiful 18th and 19th century farms, and end the day with a dinner at De Lindenhof, a restaurant with two Michelin stars.
Giethoorn is the perfect starting point for visiting Weerribben-Wieden National Park, the biggest peat bog in Northwestern Europe. It harbors countless animal species, from black terns and great egrets to otters. This natural landscape is best enjoyed from the water. Rent a canoe or rowboat and enjoy the peaceful surroundings and beautiful views.