Beemster, Netherlands

General Information

Regional secretariat

Administrative status

Municipality at the northwest of Netherlands

Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder)

Registration Year

1999

Historical reference

Agricultural

Location and site

The Beemster Polder, dating from the early 17th century, is is an exceptional example of reclaimed land in the Netherlands. It has preserved intact its well-ordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements, laid out in accordance with classical and Renaissance planning principles.

Urban morphology

The polder was laid out in a rational geometric pattern, developed in accordance with the principles of classical and Renaissance planning. This mathematical land division was based on a system of squares forming a rectangle with the ideal dimensional ratio of 2:3. A series of oblong lots, measuring 180 metres by 900 metres, form the basic dimensions of the allotments. Five of these lots make up a unit, a module of 900 metres by 900 metres, and four units create a larger square. The pattern of roads and watercourses runs north to south and east to west, with buildings along the roads. The short sides of the lots are connected by drainage canals and access roads. The polder itself followed the outline of the lake, and the direction of the squares corresponds as much as possible with the former shoreline, so as to avoid creating unusable lots.

Registration criteria

Criterion (i): The Beemster Polder is a masterpiece of creative planning, in which the ideals of antiquity and the Renaissance were applied to the design of a reclaimed landscape.

Criterion (ii): The innovative and intellectually imaginative landscape of the Beemster Polder had a profound and lasting impact on reclamation projects in Europe and beyond.

Criterion (iv): The creation of the Beemster Polder marks a major step forward in the interrelationship between humankind and water at a crucial period of social and economic expansion.

Historical reference

The Beemster Polder is a cultural landscape located north of Amsterdam, dating from the early 17th century, and an exceptional example of reclaimed land in the Netherlands. It was created by the draining of Lake Beemster in 1612, in order to develop new agricultural land and space for country residences, and to combat flooding in this low-lying region. It also provided a means for capital investment in land. Other earlier land reclamation had taken place, but technical improvements in windmill technology permitted more ambitious undertakings. The Beemster Polder was the first large project covering an area of 7,208 hectares. Today it is a well-ordered agricultural landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements.

Photos

News

16 July 2015


New mayor in the Beemster polder

Beemster, Netherlands

Northwest Europe and North America

6 June 2014


Minister opens Dutch World Heritage Weekend in Polder the Beemster

Beemster, Netherlands

Northwest Europe and North America

12 December 2012


Beemster

Beemster, Netherlands

Northwest Europe and North America


Contact

Ms. Joyce (A.J.M) van Beek

Mayor
City of Beemster

Rijn Middelburgstraat 1
Beemster, The Netherlands

31299682100
BestuursSecretariaat@Beemster.net

Ms. Janneke van Dijk

Policy Official World Heritage
City of Beemster

Rijn Middelburgstraat 1
Middenbeemster, The Netherlands

0031.299.452.151
j.v.dijk@purmerend.nl