Thinking of the Netherlands, clichés such as wooden shoes, windmills, tulips, cheese and endless green fields spring to mind. The country might be small, but it has a lot more to offer including a handful of World Heritage Sites that are as fascinating as they are impressive. An Amsterdam hotel will help you be the most centrally located so you can start exploring!
Schokland and surroundings
For ages, Schokland was a vulnerable island in the Zuiderzee. This sea was so powerful and rough that it kept taking away parts of the island, which caused Schokland to become smaller and smaller. The risk of flood was enormous and the inhabitants suffered from great poverty. In 1859 the whole island was abandoned forever. Following the draining of the Zuiderzee, Schokland became a part of the main land. Schokland hosts the remnants of human habitation going back to prehistoric times. It symbolizes the century-long struggle of men against the encroachment of water. Schokland and its surroundings became a World Heritage Site in 1995.
Defence line of Amsterdam
Declared a World Heritage Site in 1996, the defence line of Amsterdam is 135 kilometres long and consists of 45 armed forts. The Stelling van Amsterdam (the defence line’s Dutch name) was built between 1883 and 1920 and served to keep the city safe from gunfire. In case of danger, the area surrounding the defence line could be intentionally flooded to keep the enemy away. It is a unique monument of defensive and hydraulic technique.
Mill network at Kinderdijk-Elshout
The 19 mills of Kinderdijk are an internationally-recognised symbol of the Netherlands. It’s another great example of the contribution of the Dutch to the technology of handling water. From the Middle Ages up to present, the Dutch have worked on the construction of hydraulic techniques for the drainage of land for agriculture and settlement. Kinderdijk is full of typical features that demonstrate this, such as dykes, pumping stations and the famous mills. Kinderdijk has been a World Heritage Site since 1997.
Ir. D.F. Wouda gemaal
The Ir. D.F. Wouda steam pumping station in the province of Friesland, a World Heritage Site since 1998, is the largest one ever built and the only one in the world still working. The pumping station can be considered another unique representation of the all the great work Dutch engineers did in order to protect their people and their country from the natural forces of water. Nowadays, the pumping station is still used in certain situations; when the water is extremely high, the Wouda gemaal is used to pump the overload of water into the Ijsselmeer.
Droogmakerij de Beemster
De Beemster is a classic example of how the Dutch have drained large parts of their country. This polder, dating from the 17th century, was created to change the threatening inland waters of the Beemster into fertile and profitable land. The reclamation of the Beemster became a reality in 1612. Since then, the polder has preserved its landscape of fields, canals, dykes and settlements in line with the classical planning principles of the design of reclaimed land. The Beemster became a World Heritage Site in 1999.
The Rietveld Schröderhuis (World Heritage Site since 2000) is, both inside and outside, a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld. The house was commissioned by Ms Truus Schröder in 1924 and was Rietveld’s first house. The experimental structure is in line with the ideals of the De Stijl movement. It has been considered one of the icons of the Modern Movement in architecture.
Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht
During the 17th century, Amsterdam expanded rapidly, economically, politically and culturally. The city needed expansion and a plan was created that would make Amsterdam 5 times as big as it was at the time. This plan meant a network of canals to the west and south of the old town and the repositioning of the Singelgracht. This urban extension plan was considered the largest and most consistent one of its time. The canal ring area has been a World Heritage Site since 2010.
The Waddensea is the only natural World Heritage Site (2009) in the Netherlands. The Waddensea comprises the coastlines of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark and is a unique, dynamic landscape. The tides have created an incredible varied and wide territory that is nowhere to be found in the whole world and that still changes every day.
Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour – Curaçao
In 1634, the Dutch West India Company established a trading post in the harbor of Willemstad, Curaçao. Over the centuries, Willemstad developed into a modern town with several historic districts, whose architecture clearly shows the influences of its former Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch trading partners. The town became a World Heritage Site in 1997 and is the only Dutch UNESCO site not situated in the Netherlands.
This article was written by Eva on behalf of Easytobook who have a great selection of Amsterdam hotels available at the best rates guaranteed.