World Heritages in Netherlands

Beemster Polder (World Heritage)

Van Nelle Factory (World Heritage)

With the Van Nelle factory, UNESCO pays tribute to an icon of industrial architecture of classical modernism.

The coffee, tea and tobacco factory of the Dutch van Nelle family was built between 1923 and 1931 on a polder in the north-west of Rotterdam. The facility comprised a complex of factories with transparent steel and glass facades with extensive use of “curtain walls”. Van Nelle was considered an “ideal factory”, open to the outside and with plenty of daylight inside the building, which ensured pleasant working conditions.

The ensemble embodies a new type of factory, a symbol of modernity and the functional architecture of the interwar period. At the same time, according to computerannals, the Van Nelle factory bears witness to the long commercial and industrial history of the Netherlands, which as a colonial power imported and industrially processed food on a large scale from tropical countries.

Van Nelle Factory: Facts

Official title: Van Nelle factory
Cultural monument: Factory complex with steel and glass “curtain walls”
Continent: Europe
Country: Netherlands
Location: northwest of Rotterdam
Appointment: 2014
Meaning: Symbol for the modern architecture of the interwar period (20s / 30s of the 20th century); at the same time illustration of the Dutch economic relations during the colonial period

Singel Canal in Amsterdam (World Heritage)

The Amsterdam canal district was laid out at the turn of the 16th to the 17th century and formed the core of a new port city. In order to expand the city, marshland was drained with a network of canals. This town planning was the most uniform and largest of its epoch. Until the 19th century, it was considered a model for similar projects.

Singel canal in Amsterdam: facts

Official title: Neighborhood and canal system within the Singelgracht in Amsterdam
Cultural monument: Artificial port city built within the canal system of the Singelgracht at the end of the 16th century and beginning of the 17th century to expand Amsterdam; Drainage of the marshland and development of a ring-shaped network of canals with built-up areas in between according to the principle of the “ideal city”; then the creation of a homogeneous district with typical gabled houses and numerous architectural monuments
Continent: Europe
Country: Netherlands
Location: Amsterdam
Appointment: 2010
Meaning: Masterpiece of comprehensive targeted urban development with outstanding technology and planning; unique, homogeneous urban living and economic culture


Beemster Polder (World Heritage)

The polder west of Edam was drained with over 100 windmills as part of land reclamation in the 17th century and illustrates the enormous effort of the Dutch in the fight against the sea. The rectangular polder is several meters below sea level and its construction became a model for similar projects around the world.

Beemster Polder: Facts

Official title: Beemster Polder
Cultural monument: Oldest land reclamation area in the Netherlands from the early 17th century; The 7.1 km² large and up to three meters deep Beemster Lake will be drained within five years; then subdivided into 180 mx 900 m standard parcels; The structure of the landscape with its fields, streets, canals, dykes and farms is largely preserved to this day and is based on the ideals of the Renaissance
Continent: Europe
Country: Netherlands
Location: Near Amsterdam, province of North Holland
Appointment: 1999
Meaning: Masterpiece of planning and designing an area of ​​land extracted from the sea; outstanding influence on land reclamation projects in Europe and the world

Beemster Polder: History

500 BC Chr. First terps
around 1000 First dikes
around 1200 Gaining virgin land for the first time
around 1400 Windmills for drainage
1607 Approval for the East India Company to drain Lake Beemster
1608 Construction of the first 16 watermills
1609 Lake with 30 mills largely pumped empty
1610 After the dike broke, the polder flooded again
1612 Drainage of the polders with a total of 50 water mills and subsequent subdivision into 180 x 900 m standard parcels
1880 Replacement of the windmills by steam-driven pumping stations

Beemster Polder (World Heritage)