World Heritage Photos

Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder)

Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder): The Beemster Polder is an exceptional example of reclaimed land in the Netherlands. The Beemster Polder was created in the period 1607-1612 by draining a lake, 47 windmills were used to drain the Beemster Polder. The newly gained land was divided into a geometrical pattern of squares by roads and ditches, so that the polder looks like a gigantic chess board. The Beemster Polder lies about 3.5 meters below sea level, it is a landscape of fields, roads, canals and dikes and small villages. The Beemster is considered to be the oldest polder of the Netherlands, but the Dutch had already polders in the 15th century. Windmills played a vital role to keep the polders dry. Nowadays, modern pumping stations keep the Dutch polders dry. Among the protected monuments in the Beemster Polder are churches, residential and farm buildings, industrial buildings, bridges and mills. The village of Middenbeemster is located in the centre of the polder. The Keyser Church at Middenbeemster (1623) is the oldest building in the Beemster Polder. It was built by the Dutch architect Hendrick de Keyser, who also designed the Westerkerk in Amsterdam. The Church of Middenbeemster has remained almost original. The Beemster Polder is also known for the 'stolpboerderijen', characteristic cheese-cover farmhouses. Five fortresses of the Defence Line of Amsterdam are located in the Beemster Polder: Fort aan de Middenweg, Fort Benoorden Purmerend, Fort Jisperweg, Fort Nekkerweg en Fort Spijkerboor. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1999. World Heritage Art: Chess Board.

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Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The Beemster Polder is known for its straight ditches and roads lined with trees. In the 15th century, the Dutch started to create more...

The Beemster Polder is known for its straight ditches and roads lined with trees.

In the 15th century, the Dutch started to create more farmland. Lakes and marshes

were enclosed by dikes and windmills were used to pump the polders dry, the water

was pumped into drainage canals and a network of canals carried the water towards

the sea. The Beemster Polder was declared an UNESCO World Heritage  in 1999. 

  1. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The Beemster Polder is known for its straight ditches and roads lined with trees. In the 15th century, the Dutch started to create more...

    The Beemster Polder is known for its straight ditches and roads lined with trees.

    In the 15th century, the Dutch started to create more farmland. Lakes and marshes

    were enclosed by dikes and windmills were used to pump the polders dry, the water

    was pumped into drainage canals and a network of canals carried the water towards

    the sea. The Beemster Polder was declared an UNESCO World Heritage  in 1999. 

  2. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The Necker windmill on banks of the Beemsterringvaart (Beemster Ring Canal).  The Beemster Polder was created in the period...

    The Necker windmill on banks of the Beemsterringvaart (Beemster Ring Canal). 

    The Beemster Polder was created in the period 1607-1612, new land 3.5 metres

    below sea level. Once there were thousands of windmills to drain the Dutch polders.

    In the late 19th century, the windmills were replaced by steam pumping stations.

    Nowadays, the polders are drained by diesel and electric driven pumping stations.

  3. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The Dutch mill builder, hydraulic engineer and architect Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater was involved in the reclamation of the Beemster Polder....

    The Dutch mill builder, hydraulic engineer and architect Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater was

    involved in the reclamation of the Beemster Polder. Leeghwater had the supervision on the

    land reclamation process, he used 47 windmills to drain the Beemster Polder. Leeghwater

    was also involved in the creation of several other Dutch polders. Droogmakerij de Beemster

    (Beemster Polder) was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1999.

  4. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The Keyser Church at Middenbeemster is the oldest building in the Beemster Polder. The church was completed in 1623. The Keyser...

    The Keyser Church at Middenbeemster is the oldest building in the Beemster Polder.

    The church was completed in 1623. The Keyser Church has remained almost original.

    The church was built by the famous Dutch architect Hendrick de Keyser, he also built

    the West Church in Amsterdam. Five churches were planned in the Beemster Polder,

    but the Keyser Church at Middenbeemster is the only one that actually has been built.

  5. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The Beemster Polder is known for the characteristic 'stolpboerderijen', traditional Dutch farmhouses in the shape of a...

    The Beemster Polder is known for the characteristic 'stolpboerderijen', traditional Dutch

    farmhouses in the shape of a cheese-cover (or bell-jar). The cheese-cover farmhouses were

    built in the mid-17th century. The cheese-cover farmhouses were surrounded by a ditch and

    accessible via a small bridge. The farmhouses are divided into living quarters for people and

    livestock, they housed also storage rooms for crops, grains, food and hay for the animals.

  6. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - Beemster Polder: The characteristic cheese-cover farmhouse 'De Eenhoorn', the Unicorn. 'De Eenhoorn' is...

    Beemster Polder: The characteristic cheese-cover farmhouse 'De Eenhoorn', the Unicorn.

    'De Eenhoorn' is a traditional farmhouse from the early period, dating from 1682. It is the

    oldest and one of the most imposing of the 350 'stolpboerderijen', bell-jar or cheese-cover

    farmhouses, of the Beemster Polder. It is surrounded by a ditch and accessible by a small

    bridge. 'De Eenhoorn' is a private residence.

  7. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - Beemster Polder: The vicarage where the Dutch author Betje Wolff (1738-1804) lived. She lived here with her husband Adriaan Wolff,...

    Beemster Polder: The vicarage where the Dutch author Betje Wolff (1738-1804) lived.

    She lived here with her husband Adriaan Wolff, a clergyman. In the 18th century, she

    was one of the most well-known residents of the Beemster Polder. In her writings she

    rebelled against the traditional female role. Nowadays, the vicarage is a museum, it is

    situated in Middenbeemster, a village in the Beemster Polder.

  8. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - Beemster Ring Dike and the Beemster Ring Canal surrounds the Beemster Polder. The Beemster Ring Canal is part of the Noord-Hollands...

    Beemster Ring Dike and the Beemster Ring Canal surrounds the Beemster Polder.

    The Beemster Ring Canal is part of the Noord-Hollands Kanaal (Canal). Water is pumped

    out of the Beemster Polder into the Beemster Ring Canal, and via a network of canals the

    water is transported to the sea. The windmills played a vital role to keep the polders dry,

    nowadays, the modern pumping stations keep the Dutch polders dry in wet seasons.

  9. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The Beemster is one of the oldest polders in the Netherlands. The Beemster Polder is divided into a geometric pattern of squares by...

    The Beemster is one of the oldest polders in the Netherlands. The Beemster Polder

    is divided into a geometric pattern of squares by roads and ditches, so that the polder

    looks like a gigantic chess board. The Beemster Polder lies below sea level, and also

    below the water level in the ring canal and the land on the outside the ring dike, the

    dike around the polder. About one third of the Netherlands is situated below sea level.

  10. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The turret of Fortress Spijkerboor, the fortress is situated in the Beemsterpolder. Fortress Spijkerboor is the northernmost fort...

    The turret of Fortress Spijkerboor, the fortress is situated in the Beemsterpolder.

    Fortress Spijkerboor is the northernmost fort of the Defence Line of Amsterdam.

    Five fortresses of the Defence Line of Amsterdam are located in the Beemster Polder, 

    Fort Spijkerboor, Fort Nekkerweg, Fort along Middenweg, Fort Benoorden Purmerend

    and Fort Jisperweg. The Defence Line of Amsterdam is also an UNESCO World Heritage. 

  11. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - Fortress Spijkerboor is located in the southwestern part of the Beemsterpolder, the fortress was built to protect the Beemster Ring...

    Fortress Spijkerboor is located in the southwestern part of the Beemsterpolder, the fortress

    was built to protect the Beemster Ring Canal, Noordhollands Kanaal (Canal) and the ring

    canal of the Starnmeer Polder gainst enemy attacks. Fortress Spijkerboor is the largest fort

    of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, it was constructed in 1889-1911. Fortress Spijkerboor is

     not only a monument, but also is a nature reserve.

  12. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - The Beemster Polder is known for its straight ditches and roads lined with trees. Already in the 8th century, the Dutch started to build...

    The Beemster Polder is known for its straight ditches and roads lined with trees. Already

    in the 8th century, the Dutch started to build dikes to protect their farmland from flooding.

    But a polder is new land, reclaimed land from a lake, a marsh or the seabed and protected

    by dikes. The Beemster Polder is considered to be the oldest polder, but the Dutch had

    already polders in the 15th century. The Beemster Polder is an UNESCO World Heritage.

  13. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) - Beemster Polder: A classic mini in front of the tulip fields. Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) gained the status as an UNESCO World...

    Beemster Polder: A classic mini in front of the tulip fields.

    Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) gained the status as an UNESCO World

    Heritage in 1999.