SINK OR SWIM
The Woudagemaal in Lemmer is the largest steam mill in the world that is still operational. Since 1920, the mill has been used during high water levels to discharge excess water from the inland waters. The architecturally and historically unique Woudagemaal has been a protected monument since 1977. It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.
The largest steam mill in the world makes an impression. There are four steam engines in the enormous engine house coupled with four powerful flywheels, which are still operational. The steam engines and flywheels drive eight round pumps that move about six million m³ of water per day. A team of at least eleven people is required to fill the boilers with water, preheat the heavy fuel oil and start the eight pumps one-by-one. After six hours of start-up and heating, the nearly 100-year-old machine runs at full speed. And this is a fantastic sight.
The Woudagemaal has a special visitor centre where people of all ages are informed and enthused about the operation of the steam mill. In addition to an interactive exhibition space, there is a cinema with a 3D film where you can experience the Woudagemaal under full steam, a panoramic hall, and the children can participate in a scavenger hunt and are trained as assistant engineers. The Woudagemaal has been nominated several times as the most fun outing in Friesland.