The Ir. DF Woudagemaal is the largest, still functioning steam pumping station in the world. Queen Wilhelmina opened the old steam pumping station in the year 1920. At the time, the steam pumping station was used to counteract excess water. For example, the Woudagemaal pumped the water from Friesland into the Zuiderzee and later the IJsselmeer. Until 1966, the water was pumped out in this way, from then on the Woudagemaal was reinforced by the electric Hoogland pumping station in Stavoren.

During the winters of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century were large parts of Friesland under water. To counter this flooding, it was decided in 1913 to build a steam pumping station near Lemmer. The pumping station is named after Ir. Dirk Frederik Wouda, at the time he served as chief engineer of the Provincial Water Management and was responsible for the style and construction of the building. To this day, the Woudagemaal plays a crucial role within the Frisian water management !

Since 1998, the Woudagemaal has been one of the ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands. The steam pumping station owes this not only to its important contribution to Frisian water management, but also to the special architecture and the unique application of steam power by Dutch hydrological experts.

Shooting days Woudagemaal

The Woudagemaal still has an important function to this day. The Woudagemaal is owned by Wetterskip Fryslân. For example, the old steam pumping station is still used during extreme weather conditions. In this way, the excess water is pumped to the IJsselmeer.

In addition, the pumping station is put into operation twice a year to train the operating personnel in practice. This is a magisterial experience and you can be there. Steam, water and architecture come together during this unique spectacle. Check out our agenda  for the shooting days!

A unique day out

For a unique day out you have come to the right place at the Woudagemaal. The Woudagemaal is an educational and fun experience for both yourself and the children. Here you can learn everything about the operation of the old steam pumping station from the past and present.

A visit to the Woudagemaal starts in the adjacent visitor center. Learn about the rich history and the workings of the Woudagemaal, or let one of our more than one hundred enthusiastic volunteers give you a tour. There is also a ten-language version audio tour app available, with which visitors can experience the various parts of the pumping station in their own language during the tour.  Both the visitor center and the pumping station are accessible for wheelchairs.

The Woudagemaal also offers various arrangements for young and old, large or small groups and for different occasions. Looking for a magisterial wedding venue or a  unforgettable children’s party or family day? Everything is possible. Experience the best day out at the Woudagemaal in Lemmer! Check out our opening hours and  order you tickets online .