Two Dutch monuments have been given a place on the Unesco World Heritage List. It concerns the New Dutch Waterline, a series of forts, dikes, locks, pumping stations, canals and polders that were used to defend the Netherlands against attacks from outside, and the social experiment the Colonies of Benevolence. The Dutch Commission Unesco reported the new recordings on Monday afternoon.
The waterline was built between 1815 and 1870 between the former Zuiderzee and the Biesbosch. In total, the system was about two hundred kilometers long. The defense line was in use until the end of World War II in 1945. By submerging large areas of ground, making them impassable for foot soldiers and too shallow for ships to pass through, the main Dutch cities behind them were protected.
The submission of the Colonies of Benevolence was done by the Netherlands together with Belgium. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, in three places in the Netherlands and one in Belgium, stretches of uncultivated land called “pauper colonies” were established: the poor in towns were moved there to provide work in the agricultural sector.
One more Dutch entry
The Defense Line of Amsterdam, a water line around the capital and part of the Dutch Water Lines, has been a World Heritage Site since 1996. With the addition of the New Dutch Water Line, the Unesco Commission for the Netherlands now calls them the Dutch Water Lines.
Until the end of July, UNESCO is in meeting about adjustments to the World Heritage List. One other Dutch entry will be discussed in the coming days: the Lower Germanic limes. Earlier this week, the ports of Liverpool were removed from the list, because new construction would have changed the authenticity of the ports.
Also read: The Colonies of Benevolence: from utopia to place of sorrow