OHW Foundation

The Old Dutch Waterline,
the most exciting waterline in the Netherlands!

In the Disaster Year of 1672, the Netherlands were attacked from all sides, by Louis XIV, the king of France (the so called Sun King) and others. The invasion was stopped by flooding the area between Muiden at the Zuiderzee to Woudrichem in North Brabant. The Old Dutch Waterline was born and would later be expanded into the most successful line in the Netherlands with improved fortified towns, various fortresses and castles.

Now the Old Dutch Waterline forms a beautiful and unique cultural water-heritage with fortified cities, windmills and pumping stations, bridges, locks, and flood defences. It is worth the effort to visit, experience, and manage.

That is why the OHW Foundation brings together governments, entrepreneurs, and (volunteer) organisations who have an interest in the Old Dutch Waterline.

What does the OHW Foundation want?

On November 1st of 2017 the Old Dutch Waterline foundation was established. The foundation wants to contribute to the preservation of our national heritage, the Old Dutch Waterline. It wants to gain broad recognition for the historical and water management significance of the Old Dutch Waterline and the relevant role which the Old Dutch Waterline can play in the present.

The goals

The OHW Foundation has the goal to contribute to:

  • the long-term preservation of the nature, landscape and cultural values โ€‹โ€‹of the Old Dutch Waterline
  • physically and intangibly making the military and water heritage of the Old Dutch Waterline known and treasured
  • a social use of the Old Dutch Waterline, in which strengthening the economic and social capacity, based on communication, marketing, tourism and recreation, and education stands central
  • promoting and stimulating mutual cooperation and partnerships
  • guaranteeing the social relevance of the Old Dutch Waterline for the future, protect its cultural history and gather and broadcast knowledge

Statutes of the foundation for the Old Dutch Waterline

Achieving goals

The OHW Foundation wants to achieve these goals together with its partners and is working on:

  • making the Old Dutch Waterline known to a broader and larger audience and strengthening the national, regional, and local support for the preservation and experiencing of the waterline
  • joint promotion and product development for the fortified cities and other parts of the Old Dutch Waterline
  • branding and protecting the brandname of the Old Dutch Waterline
  • making efforts to cooperate and to build a network of stakeholders, supporters and executors
  • establishing relationships and partnerships with other defence lines, especially in the area, such as the New Dutch Waterline and the Defence Line of Amsterdam
  • the expansion and broadcasting of knowledge
  • the preservation, management, and development of the heritage by promoting urban planning assurance and stimulating the environmental quality

How is the OHW foundation organised?

The OHW foundation is formed by thirteen fortified towns and waterline municipalities, namely Gouda, Nieuwkoop, De Ronde Venen, Bodegraven-Reeuwijk, Woerden, Montfoort, Krimpenerwaard, Molenwaard, Zederik, Leerdam, Vianen, Gorinchem and Woudrichem. Furthermore, two water boards are members: De Stichtse Rijnlanden and Amstel, Gooi en Vecht.

The OHW Foundation is managed by a board with seven members. There is also a Waterline Council in which the fortified towns and water boards participate; this Waterline Council can provide both solicited and unsolicited advice.