Information in English

Experience the cathedral of steam!

The ir. D.F. Woudagemaal in Lemmer, opened in 1920 by Queen Wilhelmina, is the largest steam-driven pumping station in the world still in use.Even today the monumental pumping station ensures that the people of Fryslân keep their feet dry during high water. When that happens, the ‘cathedral of steam’ pumps up over four million litres of water per minute from the Frisian ‘boezem’ (drainage pool) into the IJsselmeer.

Masterly experience
The visitor centre, which is connected to the pumping station by means of a walkway, is a spectacular experience for both young and old.
The experience centre provides you with information on the Woudagemaal and water management in Fryslân by means of an impressive 3D movie, an interactive water table, the Hall of Fame, animations and experiments.

Experience the immense power of steam.
From the modern visitor centre you can make a guided tour to the pumping station with its majestic machine hall and adjoining boiler house. Experience the wonderful steam era technology!

Download our audiotour app for smartphone and tablet!

The audio tour provides visitors to the Woudagemaal the ability to view different parts of the pumping station at their own pace. The app guides visitors through the main attractions of this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can download the app for free. There is a version for Android and Apple. The app is available in eight different languages​​: Frisian, Dutch, English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.

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Since 1998 the Woudagemaal is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This list includes monuments of such exceptional value, that they rank as the common heritage of humanity. Among others UNESCO calls the pumping station ‘a highlight of the Dutch hydraulic engineering’ because it shows in a special manner how man controls nature by steam power.

Versatile location
The Woudagemaal, built in the style of the Amsterdam School, is a representative location for meetings and also officially recognized as a marriage site. The coffee- and tearoom of the visitor centre offers a wonderful view over the IJsselmeer. In the visitor centre an ‘quest’ has been set out for both students and parents with children.

Opening hours

Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10.00 - 17.00 hours. Sundays: 13.00 - 17.00 hours.
Mondays: closed (except for groups by appointment).
The visitor centre is closed in January. Click here for extraordinary opening hours.
From the visitor centre regular tours of the pumping station are organised.

Outside normal opening hours, groups can book a tour via tel. +31 (0)514-561814, or VVV Joure, tel. +31 (0)513-416030 or


The Woudagemaal is on the provincial road N359 and the IJsselmeer, just outside
Lemmer (in the direction of Balk). Visitors can reach the pumping station by car,
bike and boat.