Sights to see

The Woudagemaal

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Gemaalweg 1
8531PS Lemmer
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Visitors to the Frisian town of Lemmer will see it from a great distance away: the 60-metre-tall chimney of one of Holland’s most splendid and innovative monuments, the D.F. Woudagemaal pumping station. In a beautiful building inspired by the Amsterdam School style, sits the only steam-powered pumping station in the world.

  • Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and discover the power of steam
  • Admire the beautiful building, designed by Dirk Frederik Wouda.
  • Take a bicycle trip through the area or visit Leeuwarden, the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018.

What is there to do at the Woudagemaal?

The Woudagemaal was built in 1920 to pump away the excess water in Friesland. Until that time, large parts of Friesland were submerged during the winter. The D.F. Woudagemaal, that can pump away over 4000 cubic meters of water per minute, or 6 million cubic meters per day, changed that. Even today, this steam-powered pumping station is still operational and open to the public one week each year. It’s an event that is definitely worth witnessing!

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Woudagemaal in Lemmer is the largest steam-powered pumping station ever constructed and the only steam-powered pumping station in the world that is still in use. Technology enthusiasts from around the world have already enjoyed a tour of this splendid example of industrial design. A 3D animation and interactive exhibits show how the pumping station works, and will make it clear to you why it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

More in the area

If you are in the area of Lemmer, there are well-known cycling routes such as ‘de Wetter’ and ‘Natuurlijk Cultuur’ that will take you past the Frisian lakes, beautiful landscapes and centuries-old towns. The former Zuiderzee islands of Schokland and Urk and ‘the Venice of the North’, Giethoorn, are not far away. Finally, the capital of Friesland, Leeuwarden, has been elected the Cultural Capital of Europe 2018.


The pleasant fishing village of Lemmer has a number of holiday parks where you can spend the night right by the water’s edge. From your own personal jetty, you can sail straight to the Frisian lakes and IJsselmeer lake.

Accessibility and parking at the Woudagemaal

The Woudagemaal is about an hour and a half by car from the capital city of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The Woudagemaal can also be reached through public transport. Parking at the Woudagemaal visitors’ center (Gemaalweg 1a) is free.

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Discover the area


Sailing at the Woudagemaal

Rent a boat or take a boat tour for a unique view of the oldest still-functional steam-powered pumping station in the world.


Cycling Route Wetter (48 km)

Cycle right though water-rich Friesland and discover the world’s oldest operational steam pumping station.

© Arvid Olson

Zuiderzee Tour

Explore lovely nature and authentic towns around IJsselmeer lake.

© Andzelina Hanke

Land of Water

No less than 26 per cent of our country lies below sea level. See and experience how we manage and enjoy our water in a variety of places.

Watch this video: The Woudagemaal