The Old Dutch Waterline originated in 1672, appropriately named ‘The Disaster Year’
The Old Dutch Waterline was the backbone of Dutch defence in the 17th and 18th centuries and is closely linked to the Dutch hydraulic engineering tradition. This military defence line was located between the IJsselmeer and the Biesbosch, between Muiden and beyond Gorinchem.
The Old Dutch Waterline is, as well as her successors like the New Dutch Waterline and the Defence Line of Amsterdam, was built to defend the economic and political power of Holland and Amsterdam against attacks from the east. The idea behind this defence is to flood, to inundate, large areas of low-lying land. The idea of a waterline has not been used on such a large scale anywhere outside of the Netherlands and it can be seen as one of the largest infrastructural operations that has ever been completed in the country.
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