D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station

Posted: October 13, 2009    Categories: Daily Photo, World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Site #85: The D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station

D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station: My 85th UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for The D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station:

The D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station (Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal) at Lemmer in the province of Fryslân opened in 1920. It is exceptional as the largest and most powerful steam-driven installation for hydraulic purposes ever built, and one that is still successfully carrying out the function for which it was designed. It is a masterpiece of the work of Dutch hydraulic engineers and architects, whose significant contribution in this field is unchallenged. It was the largest and the technologically most advanced steam pumping station in the world at the time it was built, and it has remained so ever since.

The Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal, consisting of the pumping station with boiler house, chimney and coal storage depot, the inlet sluice at the Teroelsterkolk, the drainage canal (Afwateringskanaal), the outlet in front of the pumping station and at the inlet sluice, the sea dykes along the IJsselmeer with the pumping station itself functioning as a sea barrier, and the surrounding wide expanse of pasture lands has an outstanding value as a whole and is of high visual quality with respect to the landscape. The pumping station itself is a steam-driven installation to prevent flooding of the low-lying areas of Friesland.

The D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station Pumping Station can be thought of as the next generation of water management after the windmills in the Netherlands. Built in the 1920’s the pump still works and is used when the water levels are high in the spring (normal diesel pumps are now used). The equipment is in pristine condition, including the oil cans used to lubricate the moving parts.


View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in The Netherlands.

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Last updated: Mar 12, 2017 @ 2:19 pm

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