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Dutch up! Workshop about Dutch dikes

When Direct Dutch Institute and The Hague Public Library team up to give internationals more opportunities to speak Dutch, you know quality comes first. So write down this event in your agenda and get ready to be Dutched up! Make sure you register on time!

Dutch up! workshop (about Dutch Dikes)

October 19, 2014, 13:30 – 15:30 hrs, location: Central Library The Hague (Spui 68, Den Haag), free entrance

On Sunday October 19 there will be the first edition of our Dutch up! workshop, in Central Library The Hague. The first edition will be all about the great wonder of Holland: Dutch Dikes! First we watch a short documentary with a spectacular above view of the Dutch coast, followed by a short lecture. Then we will form little groups, make exercises and discuss the answers together.

The Dutch up! workshop is a great way to practise speaking Dutch while also learning more about typical Dutch subjects. You have to have at least a basic knowledge of Dutch to be able to fully participate (level A1 and higher).

Registration required: send an email to
Location: Central Library The Hague (Spui 68, Den Haag), free entrance


Dutch water management from early ‘terps’ to the innovative ‘zandmotor’ (sand engine)


Surviving and making a decent living in the coastal area of the Dutch Delta has never been very easy.

Rivieren en de zee

Very frequently the rivers and the sea flooded the land. At first the inhabitants build earthen mounts which they called ‘terps’. But the sea and the rivers were took large areas of lands. The coastal area had become one large lake district.

Windmolens en polders

Something had to happen. In the Middle Ages the windmills were invented and they were used to pump the water out of the lakes.

Dijken, kanalen en sloten

From the thirteenth century the Dutch reclaimed land. In order to do so they built dikes, canals and ditches. De Haarlemmer Lake  was a huge project. The airport of Schiphol used to be a large lake until it was finally reclaimed in the 19th century.

Overstromingen en rampen

Each century there were floods and disasters. The last big disaster was in 1953. After this disaster Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Waterways) initiated the Deltawerken which took almost fifty years to finish. The Deltawerken consists of a large system of dikes and dams.


Ideas about water management have changed over the last few decades. Building higher and stronger dikes is very expensive and not very effective in the long run. In stead of fighting against the water, the Dutch now cooperate with the forces of water. How? Look at the Sand Engine near Monster and you get an idea. Few years ago a man-made sand island of one square kilometre was created in front of the vulnerable coast. North Sea currents transport this sand along the coast and replenish the beaches and the dunes.

Ruimte voor de rivier

More space for the rivers is another new innovative approach that we will discuss in Dutch during the workshop.

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