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.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.