The distinctive Beemster landscape with its strict rectangular pattern of land division and unusual history is the only one of its kind in the world. By designating it a World Heritage site UNESCO recognizes the value of the Beemster Polder and makes it clear that future generations must also be able to enjoy it. "Quite right too," says Rob de Jong of the Department of Conservation, who attended the meeting on behalf of the Netherlands. "The cultural and natural values of the Beemster Polder are irreplaceable and will henceforth enjoy the special protection of UNESCO." Rob de Jong has more to say about UNESCO page 2.
|One of a kind
The Municipality, along with e.g. De Waterlanden water control corporation, is a member of the Beemster World Heritage Site Foundation (Stichting Beemster Werelderfgoed), with which it intends to put Beemster well and truly on the world map. Alderman Joke Benningen: "The designation offers a host of opportunities for our industry and commerce and provides an excellent opportunity to promote the Beemster Polder." Once water, now land: the eternal battle with the sea and the glorious victory have made Holland world-famous. "The World Heritage Committee regards the polder as a superb example of the conflict man has waged with the water," says Joke, who was present at the Marrakesh meeting. "Its rich history and distinctive pattern of land division are unique throughout the world, and the designation backs this up." You can read more about the history of Beemster on page 3.
The distinctive pattern of land division.
This map is a copper engraving from the second half of the 17th century by an unknown hand, accurately copied from a map etched by Hessel Gerritsz.
The dike-grave and dike-reeves of the Beemster Polder needed reliable maps for various administrative purposes: they showed, for instance, the drainage data and charges for each administrative area and data on the maintenance of the ditches, roads and dikes.
With the map are copious notes on the division into plots and the administrative areas.