Dutch History: a battle against water

Dutch history: a battle against water.

The Netherlands, land of water. Throughout the years, we have been taught how to regulate the water of the North Sea and many rivers. And since a large part of our country is below the current sea level, you could say that’s a rather good thing.

Water is both gift and a threat. The Dutch have always used the water to plant and cultivate the fields, and of course for trade. This is still the case, take the large port of Rotterdam for example. Yet water is very powerful, and it must be properly regulated in order to keep the country safe.

“Water is both a gift and a threat”

A big part of The Netherlands consists of river delta. In the past, when there were no dikes here, people themselves raised parts of the land to live on, the mounds. Sources from before the Middle Ages tell about even more ancient water systems to repulse outer waters and control inner waters.

Leeghwater and the battle against water

In the 16th and 17th century, the threat of the water was a true reality. Especially in the provinces of North Holland and South Holland, people feared flooding. The area of The Rijp, homeland of water expert Leeghwater, included.

Due to the construction of dikes and the use of mills, 20,000 hectares of land were drained between 1608 and 1643. This well-known Dutch technique is called ‘’poldering’’. In the time of Leeghwater, mills were grinding the water away, exposing fertile land. Areas such as the Beemster and the Schermer are an example of this.

As a water expert and mill maker, Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater, fulfilled an important role in many land reclamation projects in North Holland. He also did an important invention: a mill with a rotatable top, which made it easier to function in the wind. This type of mill, was first build in 1605, in the area of The Rijp.

Leeghwater was involved in many water projects, like the reclamation of the Beemster, the Purmer and the Wormer, where he was supervisor of the mills and the construction of dikes.

‘’A remarkable story is that of the battle of the city of ’S Hertogenbosch’’

A remarkable story is that of the battle of the city of ’S Hertogenbosch in 1629. When the Spanish army tried to invade the city, the Dutch started to control the swampy wetlands around the city, in order to make a way for the Dutch army – Which was led by the family of Orange. This all happened under supervision of Leeghwater.

Our history of perseverance in the battle against the water makes proud. Leeghwater can be called an icon of Dutch history. Up to this day, The Netherlands uses advanced techniques to keep winning the battle.

The Prisma Leeghwater is inspired by the innovator Leeghwater. A watch that has never been created before and attests to strength and technology. The battle against the water: both the triangular design and the blue color reference to this fantastic element. Read more about our Dutch watch brand.

wind miles

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