Universele waarden UNESCO werelderfgoed Woudagemaal

Universal values UNESCO

To be included on the World Heritage List, a monument must meet a number of issues. Fortunately Woudagemaal fulfills a number of these conditions, and the steam engine was included in the World Heritage List in 1998.


Criteria UNESCO World Heritage

UNESCO recognizes a monument as world heritage when it meets one of the following 10 criteria:


  • the heritage represents a masterpiece of a creative human genius;
  • the heritage exhibits an important interaction of human value, during a period of time or within a cultural part of the world, for developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, urban design or landscaping;
  • the heritage bears a unique, or at least an exceptional, testimony to a cultural tradition or a society that still lives on or has disappeared.;
  • the heritage is a particular example of a type of building or architectural or technological composition of a landscape, representing significant steps in human history;
  • the heritage is a particular example of traditional human habitation or land use, which represents a culture (or cultures). Particularly when it has become vulnerable due to irreversible changes;
  • he heritage is directly or indirectly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or belief, with artistic and literary works or particularly universal significance (the World Heritage Committee considers this criterion only applicable in special circumstances, and only in connection with another cultural or natural criterion on the list);
  • the heritage is an example of important steps in the history of the earth;
  • the heritage represents ongoing ecological and biological processes;
  • the heritage houses the most important natural shelters for the conservation of global significant biodiversity;
  • the heritage is an area with an exceptional natural beauty.


The Woudagemaal as World Heritage

Just like a number of other monuments in the Netherlands, Woudagemaal fulfills a number of these criteria, and this is reason enough for inclusion on the World Heritage List:

  • the rise of steam as a source of energy gave the Dutch a powerful tool in their millennial task of water management, and the Woudagemaal is the largest of its kind (criterion 1);
  • the Woudagemaal symbolizes the culmination of Dutch hydraulic engineering, which has served as a model for centuries and has been the standard for the whole world (criterion 2);
  • the Woudagemaal provides exceptional testimony to the power of steam for the control of natural forces, in particular in their application by Dutch engineers (criterion 3).