Wouda Pumping Station

Lemmer, Netherlands

The ir. D.F. Woudagemaal is the largest still operational steam-powered pumping station in the world. On October 7, 1920 Queen Wilhelmina opened the pumping station. It was built to pump excess water out of Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands.

In 1967, after running on coal for 47 years, the boilers were converted to run on heavy fuel oil. It has a pumping capacity of 4,000 m³ per minute. The pumping station is currently used to supplement the existing pumping capacity of the J.L. Hooglandgemaal in case of exceptionally high water levels in Friesland; this usually happens a few days per year.

Since 1998 the ir. D.F. Woudagemaal has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The station is open for visitors and tours are given regularly.



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Founded: 1920


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

二朗二郎 (3 years ago)
friendly staff. when i visit, my English was so poor. but, they give me Japanes audio guide. then, i can learn everything about pump. also, get to know how the Dutch suffered from and overcame floods.
Mitchel Mol (3 years ago)
Interesting and beautiful experience. Especially the pereonal guided tour.
Marco Schutte (3 years ago)
Interesting fully operational industrial heritage. Fun for kids, but sure makes the heart of a technician beat faster.
Ivo van Zon (3 years ago)
Huge pumping station that is still ready for emergency situations. Expect huge crowds when it is running outside the official running days, as that is broadcast on the national news. Great atmosphere, especially when it is close to freezing outside and the steam clouds are exceptionally large
Adriana Parise (3 years ago)
Interesting place, impressive display of architecture and technology; the tour guides are very knowledgeable and willing to share their knowledge and make the visitor understand difficult concepts for the common folk with real examples, their service is beyond amazing. 10 stars for all the staff we had the pleasure to meet. Even one of their guides took the time to come sit down with us while enjoying a coffee and tell us facts about the region and his own life experiences. Getting to know people is the most amazing experience one can get.
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