For travelers from the USA the aftermath of the devastating 2005 Katrina Flood may inspire to learn firsthand how Dutch engineers were called in to work in New Orleans and about seven centuries of titanic struggle by the Dutch and to see how they shaped their water management for physical survival.
Titanic water engineering works at Neeltje Jans are one of the key projects. Between each pylon there is one panel which may move up or down mechanically. These vertical movement panels control and regulate the enormous tidal flows and also harness strong spring floods. One may come very close to this water barrier at Neeltje Jans Waterworks Theme park. Photo credit: by Neeltje Jans Theme park.
Storm flood barrier built on a truly gigantic scale in the province of South Holland, and the largest is the Maeslantkering Stormvloedkering in the Nieuwe Waterweg river, opened 1997. Two enormous hinging columns, arranged horizontally and stretching out 240 meters - nearly as high as the Eiffel tower, harness two horizontal mega barriers which effectively block out high tides when closed. They protect the low lying Dutch polders of South Holland province.
The humongous hinges towards the left are anchored with ballbearing spheres as they have to be able to turn both sideways and up and down with ebb and flood movements. This is the grand finale part of the Delta works which were started after the devastating flood of 1953 in the southern provinces of Zeeland and South Holland. One may visit this site. Photo by ANP press agency.
The breath-taking line of historic windmills at Kinderdijk recall the many thousands of windmills in the Netherlands that once turned wind into power for the productive use of the Dutch people, for such wide ranging uses as water pumping, grain milling, or milling powders, papermaking, etc. One of these many Kinderdijk mills is open to the public.
Other water and grain mills which may be visited are both in and near my North Holland home town of Alkmaar. With luck, you may even see the mighty horizontal and vertical turning shafts rolling into each other. This visit is a unique technological experience. Close proximity to the turning wheels would be considered too dangerous and would thus be immediately prone to litigation in the USA.
You will both experience excitement and educate yourself while strolling along and talking technology with an art historian. Before or afterwards you also have another option - after a ride in my car - to visit the historic centers of towns like Amsterdam (a sawing windmill), Alkmaar (one of the oldest windmills), Haarlem (rebuilt windmill and the largest steam pump in the world at Cruquius), Leiden (Windmill near Rembrandts birth home), Den Haag, Delft (University of Technology) and many other modern towns like the Rotterdam with its massive harbor.
Starting off at or near your hotel I will take you on a wonderful private cultural car tour of these waterworks - and I can get you to any of the other sites. This guided itinerary tour gives you a chance of some informed and intelligent conversation* (-; in a plain, accessible language (that is - in whatever language you choose to speak - Dutch, English or German. My French and Italian are rusty.)
I will be able to touch geographical, technological, architectural and cultural bases - including my academic field of fine art. You may also arrange this VIP treatment for business contacts or friends. This cultural organisation office will take care of a memorable experience.
Generally for small groups of 1-4 persons, starting point in in Amsterdam. Includes car. Contact me for information on higher amounts with other venues and more people.
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