Kinderdijk is a village community in South Holland, which includes a set of 19 windmills and other ingenious technologies built in the 18th century to control flooding. It is located in a polder—a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments or “dikes”—and comprises the largest concentration of historic windmills in the Netherlands.
The name Kinderdijk means “child’s dike”; it is based on a 15th-century tale about a sleeping baby in a cradle floating, safe and dry, on flood waters after a terrible storm. The name also calls to mind the story of the heroic boy with his finger in a ruptured dike, which appeared in the 1865 novel Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland, by American author Mary Mapes Dodge.
Kinderdijk is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to Kinderdijk can tour an actual working windmill to see its pumping mechanism and living quarters.