Unesco Wereld Erfgoed
De beste manier om uit te leggen wat het betekent om UNESCO Werelderfgoed te zijn en op grond van welke criteria het Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal in 1998 aan deze prestigieuze lijst is toegevoegd, is te verwijzen naar de (bron)teksten op de website van UNESCO zelf. Dat is voor een groot deel in de Engelse taal.
Wat is UNESCO?
En wat maakt het gemaal zo uniek, dat het een plaats op de Werelderfgoed lijst verdient?
Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal (D.F. Wouda Stoompompstation) Het Woudagemaal te Lemmer – in de provincie Friesland – werd in 1920 geopend. Het is het grootste stoompompstation ooit gebouwd en nog steeds in bedrijf. Het vertegenwoordigt het hoogtepunt van de bijdrage van Nederlandse ingenieurs en architecten in het beschermen van hun volk en land tegen de natuurlijke krachten van het water. Overtollig water werd oorspronkelijk afgevoerd door middel van windmolens. Het eerste gebruik van stoom voor het wegpompen van water gebeurde in 1825 aan de Arkelse Dam, nabij Gorinchem. De bouw van met stoom aangedreven pompstations bereikte zijn hoogtepunt tussen 1870 en 1885.
Outstanding Universal Value
The Wouda Pumping Station (Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal) at Lemmer in the province of Fryslân opened in 1920. It is exceptional as the largest and most powerful steam-driven installation for hydraulic purposes ever built, and one that is still successfully carrying out the function for which it was designed. It is a masterpiece of the work of Dutch hydraulic engineers and architects, whose significant contribution in this field is unchallenged. It was the largest and the technologically most advanced steam pumping station in the world at the time it was built, and it has remained so ever since.
The Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal, consisting of the pumping station with boiler house, chimney and coal storage depot, the inlet sluice at the Teroelsterkolk, the drainage canal (Afwateringskanaal), the outlet in front of the pumping station and at the inlet sluice, the sea dykes along the IJsselmeer with the pumping station itself functioning as a sea barrier, and the surrounding wide expanse of pasture lands has an outstanding value as a whole and is of high visual quality with respect to the landscape. The pumping station itself is a steam-driven installation to prevent flooding of the low-lying areas of Friesland.
Criterion (i): The advent of steam as a source of energy provided the Dutch engineers with a powerful tool in their millennial task of water management, and the Wouda installation is the largest of its type ever built.
Criterion (ii): The Wouda Pumping Station represents the apogee of Dutch hydraulic engineering, which has provided the models and set the standards for the whole world for centuries.
Criterion (iv): The Wouda pumping installations bear exceptional witness to the power of steam in controlling the forces of nature, especially as applied to water handling by Dutch engineers.
'Integrity’ The D.F. Wouda Pumping Station contains all the relevant components, which are authentic and in very good condition. For the purposes of effective protection of the important views from the pumping station, and in order to preserve the dominant position of this major building in the essentially flat landscape, construction projects for tall structures in the immediate vicinity of the property must be monitored closely.
Authenticity The authenticity of the Wouda Pumping Station may be deemed total since in form, materials, and functions, its state is virtually identical to what it was when it opened in 1920. The only significant change has been the replacement of the eight original boilers by four larger-capacity installations in 1955 and their subsequent conversion from coal to fuel-oil firing twelve years later.
Protection and management requirements The pumping station with boiler house, chimney and coal storage depot is designated as a monument under the 1988 Monuments and Historic Buildings Act. All interventions require official authorization. According to the zoning plan, there is a possibility to enlarge the sluice. The Friesland Water Board (Wetterskip Fryslân) manages the property and intends to preserve the pumping station as a whole, because it is still a component of the pumping system that keeps the province from being flooded. Maintenance of the pumping station is based on the “Periodic Maintenance Plan for the Wouda Pumping Station 2008–2013” (Periodiek Instandhoudingsplan van het ir. D.F. Woudagemaal 2008- 2013) and is reviewed regularly.
A visitors’ centre was built in 2011 at some distance from the protected heritage site but within the limits of the property. It is intended to provide high-quality information and facilities for visitors on the basis of a permanent exhibition with the theme of “Steam and Water”.
A management plan was drawn up in 2012, in which the site holder indicates how protection has been arranged and applied for the World Heritage property and its buffer zone. The management plan intends to protect the setting of the property from inappropriate development and is updated regularly.