- Pick up at the hotel on a private vehicle
- Flexible schedule
- Local guide
Battle against water
There is a Dutch saying that goes:
“God schiep de Aarde, maar de Nederlanders schiepen Nederland”
“God created the earth, but the Dutch created The Netherlands”.
This is the epic story of a people born by the determination of those who strove to build a series of hydraulic systems to drain and create land on top of water.
With 40% of the land below sea level, floods in the Rhine Delta and the North Sea can only be prevented by unprecedented engineering works. In fact, the lowest point in the Netherlands, close to the city of Rotterdam, is almost seven meters below sea level.
As you can imagine, for this country the containment of the waters is something much more than a beautiful complex of channels and dikes, it is a matter of national security literally.
How this process is going to develop throughout history is what this Guiarte Tours activity is about.
A millennium ago the Dutch began this unprecedented struggle, desperate to see how their homes and crops were flooded by floods caused by the floods of the Rhine or the entrance of the wild North Sea.
They then began to build channels with their hands to carry excess water. Over time these lands lost their rigidity and the consequence would be their progressive collapse. A new technology would then appear in the Dutch sky to help in these processes, the windmills.
The Kinderdijk windmills
The most faithful example of this bitter struggle is found today in the Kinderdijk area, where its monumental 19 mills, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, tell us about the adventures lived by these hard-working settlers.
Here we will enjoy visits to 3 interpretation centers at 2 of its most famous mills, the Nederwaard and the Blokweer, as well as the Wisboom Drain Pump Visitor Center.
However, despite all the effort and tenacity that was demonstrated, the contribution of the newest technologies has been necessary to maintain the security of the entire southern part of the Netherlands, culminating in 1997 with the termination of the DELTA commission.
Without warning, in the middle of the night on January 31, 1953, the dark waters of the North Sea hit with unusual violence the battered dikes that protected the south of the country. These, weakened after a long postwar period, succumbed to the push of the rough sea by a winter storm causing the collapse.
Almost sixty kilometers of salty water would then flood the fields of the inhabitants of the Dutch south. The figures would be daunting, almost two thousand people lost their lives, approximately seventy thousand had to leave their homes. Ten thousand houses were overwhelmed by the force of the water that would make the land unworkable for at least twenty years due to the salinity of the sea.
The government then took the measure of creating a commission called DELTA, which would analyze the conditions of the tragedy and propose measures so that it would not happen again. Finally, the docks were reinforced and the mouths of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt estuaries were closed with the longest and most incredible barrier of liftgates in the world, without influencing the shipping traffic of one of the most important ports on the planet. , the one in Rotterdam. The Maeslantkering mobile dock, the masterpiece, was inaugurated in 1997. Thus the “DELTA works” were concluded.
This is the second visit that is scheduled after the Kinderdijk visit.
Can you imagine two robotic arms the size of the Eiffel Tower but each weighing twice as much?
Stop imagining because they already exist. They are made of reinforced steel and designed to withstand a thrust of up to fifty thousand tons of water. By means of a colossal rolling, these two structures rise slightly in the air, turning on themselves until they close over the channel, thus preventing a possible flood of the sea from going up the channel generating a new tragedy, this time in the city of Rotterdam.
In the Maeslantkering interpretation center they will explain to us, through interactive models, explanatory panels and an audiovisual projection, what this titanic work of engineering consists of, while the simple contemplation of them will leave us speechless.
Visit to the Interpretation Center of the Maeslantkering (Rotterdam), entrance included
Visit to the Kinderdijk Park world heritage by UNESCO
To secure your reservation, you must pay 50% of the total value, by bank transfer (the client assumes the expenses of their bank) or PayPal (a 5% extra charge should be considered). The remaining 50% can be paid through bank transfer, PayPal or in person in cash or with a credit card (an extra charge of 3% must be considered)