A brief history and more…
The Dutch Steam Engine Museum Medemblik is unique on the European continent and part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage Network. The museum is located in a monumental steam pumping station, which was built in 1869 near the dike between the polder and the former sea. The polder is named “De Vier Noorder Koggen”, which is also the name of the pumping station.
Long ago the soil of this polder consisted of peat moor, but because of drainage the moor disappeared. So presently the ground of the polder is 3.5 meters below sea level. That is why natural drainage was not possible anymore. To prevent the polder from flooding, wind-watermills had to be put to work to keep our feet dry.
At the end of the nineteenth century it happened at many occasions that the wind was too weak to move the sails of the 24 windmills. That’s why the steam pumping station was opened in 1869. In 1897 the installation was improved by installing four centrifugal pumps. In 1907 the pumping station was extended with a new boiler house and a giant centrifugal pump, which more than doubled the capacity. By then the last of the 24 mills became redundant.
The pumping station operated until 1975. In 1985 it became a museum. The Dutch Steam Engine Museum shows, through working examples, the exciting historic development of the steam engine. Steam engines played a major role in the Industrial Revolution. The museum has a unique collection of steam engines. But also the original pumping installation is still intact, if needed it still works! On special Steam Days there are demonstrations. The maximum capacity of the pump is 450.000 liters of water per minute!
Our museum is exclusive in the fact that we are ‘at full steam’ for more than four months a year and that we have a big collection of different engines of British, German and Dutch make. Most of the steam engines still work on steam, so we can provide a live demonstration. In our steam lab, kids can discover the power of fire and water by small steam engines.
From April to October there will be special Events and Steam Days. On those days not only the engines in the Main building are running on steam, but also the steam engines outside in our Engine Garden, like the Steam crane and the Steam frame saw. In the small harbour behind the museum the old bucket ladder dredger named “Vooruit” is moored. The steam driven buckets on a chain are still working and give an impression of the dredging work which was, and still is, vital to keep the ditches and canals navigable. You can also visit the authentic interior. It gives you an idea how the crew worked and lived in former days. And there is much more to see, like our steam roller and the asphalt mill with tar cart.
During the Summer Holiday the museum is 7 days a week open and at full steam. Information about special Events and Steam Days you can find at the website.
Admission: Adults: € 7,50 p.p. Children 4 – 18 years of age: € 5,- p.p.
Free admission for children under the age of four. For groups and companies we have special arrangements. We have a Visitors Center including a restaurant and terrace. The museum is accessible to wheelchairs.
March to November, from 10.00 to 17.00. Monday closed, except in the school holidays.
During the holidays we are 7 days a week at full steam.
1671 HJ Medemblik