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
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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Levon Amatuni (8 months ago)
Online reservation was not really needed in advance (the lady was even surprised it existed). So, this is a very nice area with a shop, interactive museum at the newly built visitor center, panoramic cafe, cinema room, and of course the magnificent and shiny steam station itself. It takes around 30-40 minutes co completely explore the exposition with the movies in the visitor center on yourself + 50-60 minutes to explore the station itself with the guide tour (only guided is allowed to enter). There was a person available (they are volunteers, not paid) to guide me in English almost immediately when I arrived, but it was a slow day. 9 eur ticket all included. Surprisingly striking place given its historical importance, and would be interesting for visitors of any background.
Alejandro Villaveces (10 months ago)
Really nice, we got to see the machines running so that was a very nice visit.
Gerbrand Bosman (12 months ago)
Very impressive and still operational (on stand-by for emergencies). It's run once a year to train staff but even without it running it is a magnificent industrial monument of Dutch civil engineering.
Gustavo milzbrand (16 months ago)
If you dont speak dutch, dont do it
Peter Roberts (2 years ago)
Interesting “working museum” with friendly and informative guides.
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