A lot of people don’t know that more than 30% from the Netherlands is below sea level.
The inhabitants of the Netherlands started around 1000 to make land from water.
They did technical inventions and had special organizations to win the battle against the sea. Farmers made together a polder and formed a waterschap (water Board) which had a democratic chosen board.
Hans Bremer is a civil engineer and was dike builder and was 26 years member of water boards.
Hans gives people from all over the world a short lesson about the water system of the water Board near Amstel River.
During a bike tour from the center of Amsterdam to a small village (Ouderkerk aan de Amstel / Old church near Amstel river) he asks questions about the water system.
After breakfast you can decide for a bike tour of 90 minutes or 3 hours.
Almost everybody passes the exam.
If you pass the exam you know more about the water system than 95% of the people who live in the Amsterdam area and even more than the members of the water Board.
Some questions you have to answer:
1. Do you know how the system of the canals of the city centre of Amsterdam is called?
Niniko Tsutskiridze from Georgia knows it.
2. Is the Zeedijk in Amsterdam a street or dike?
Mrs. Neha Sen from India knows it.
3. Do you know why the water level of Amstel river is higher than the grassland in the adjoining polders?
Mr. Abhinet Sen from India can explain it to you.
4. Do you know why the water level of the small canals beside the Amsteldijk is lower than Amstel river ?
Julia Lopes from Portugal knows it.
5. Do you know which technical invention around 1600 was important to drain polders?
Rui Lopes from Portugal tells you.
6. How old is the windmill near Het Kalfje (Border Amsterdam/Amstelveen)?
Lucile Bacchi from France knows it.
7. What song Jacques Brel about Amsterdam?
Morgane and William from France sing it for you on an Amsterdam bridge.