Royal opening for new visitors centre at Kinderdijk-Elshout (Netherlands)
On 7 September 2019 the new visitors centre at the Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout in the Netherlands was formally opened. Officiating the celebration was Princess Beatrix, patroness of the Dutch Windmill Association. After meeting with volunteers from the Kinderijk World Heritage Foundation the Princess opened the building among a spectacular show of music, fountains, and light effects.
The new visitors centre was first envisioned in 1997 after the site's inscription on the World Heritage List. The property's management team wanted to create a modern centre with facilities to meet the growing demands of visitors and tourists. The new building features large glass panels allowing a view of the Kinderdijk windmill area from the comfort of the centre.
The Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout is a group of buildings in an exceptional human-made landscape, and an outstanding example of water management and handling. The site was established in the Middle Ages for the drainage of land for agriculture and settlement which has continued uninterrupted to the present day. The landscape is striking in its juxtaposition of its horizontal features, represented by the canals, the dikes, and the fields, with the vertical rhythms of the mill system. There is no drainage network of this kind or of comparable antiquity anywhere else in the Netherlands or in the world.