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Nederland - De Cruquius

In the low-lying peat lands in the area between Amsterdam, Haarlem and Leiden peat was won for many centuries. Peat lakes were created, which expanded into larger lakes as a result of storms. Three lakes merged into one, forming the largest inland lake of the Netherlands: the Haarlemmermeer (Lake Haarlem). Local people called it the Waterwolf, because it swallowed more and more land and wiped complete villages of the map.

In 1837 King Willem I installed a commission to make a study for drainage. He could use such a prestige project to compensate for the humiliation regarding the separation of Belgium from the Netherlands. So he opted for the use of steam power for draining the Haarlemmermeer.

Together with two identical steam-pumping machines De Cruquius, commissioned in 1849, pumped Lake Haarlem dry in three years and three months. The engine could drain up to 320.000 litres of water per minute !! The pumping station is a unique example of neo-Gothic architecture with its havy buttresses, pointe – arched windows, battlements; much use is made of cast iron ornamentation (PiPs1 and 2)

Both other pumping stations were modernized after 50 years, but De Cruquius remained untouched. It was decommissioned in 1932 and became a museum, which opened four years later. It became one of the first technical museums in the world and houses the worlds’ largest steam engine. Apart from the history of the pumping station, attention is also paid to the continuous struggle of the Netherlands against the water.

But most impressive for me was without any doubt the visit to the engine room (PiPs 3 and 4), especially with a demonstration of a working engine; even if the huge cylinder is nowadays moved up and down by means of a modern hydraulic system.
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113 comments

John Lawrence said:

Lovely shot Jaap.
10 days ago

Karp Panta said:

HFF Jaap !!!
10 days ago ( translate )

Guy Bacca said:

De belles photos pour ce bel exemple du génie des hommes...Magnifique architecture industrielle pour cette station de pompage reconvertie avec bonheur en musée
Bonne fin de semaine
10 days ago ( translate )

Madeleine Defawes said:

Very beautiful pictures of the old steam-pumping machines !
Thank you for the information.
Have a nice weekend.
10 days ago

Edward Bowthorpe said:

Brilliant pic Jaap,eddie,
10 days ago ( translate )

Roger (Grisly) said:

Nice information and a terrific series of images Jaap
HFF and a good weekend
10 days ago

Philippe/Fifi said:

Incroyable ! oooooo)
10 days ago ( translate )

Rosalyn Hilborne said:

Great PiP's and information Jaap.
HFF and have a great weekend.
10 days ago

Ms.Wisteria said:

Had to look for a fence and then realised there are lots - great picture - HFF
10 days ago

Judith Jannetta said:

Such an interesting series of shots and information, Jaap. thanks very much for all that.
And HFF too
10 days ago

Annemarie said:

beautiful image, graet pip's ..........happy weekend:)

HFF also
10 days ago ( translate )

tiabunna said:

Great photos and fascinating information, Jaap. HFF and have a great weekend.
10 days ago

Gudrun said:

At that time they knew how to make industrial architecture look attractive- and what an achievement! HFF, Jaap!
10 days ago

Dida From Augsburg said:

Nice building and interesting information!

HFF, Jaap!
10 days ago ( translate )

ROL/Photo said:

WAOUH, merci pour cette enrichissante explication..
Oui l’architecture est exceptionnelle
et ta photo est belle et bien composée comme toujours bravo
my friend..
nice W/end Jaap
10 days ago ( translate )