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.



Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 1920


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

二朗二郎 (2 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 (2 years ago)
Interesting and beautiful experience. Especially the pereonal guided tour.
Marco Schutte (2 years ago)
Interesting fully operational industrial heritage. Fun for kids, but sure makes the heart of a technician beat faster.
Ivo van Zon (2 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 (2 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.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hluboká Castle

Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.

The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.

The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.