History and function of the Afsluitdijk

History and function of the Afsluitdijk

The region around the former Zuiderzee was vulnerable to flooding. There were already plans to build a causeway in the 17th century. In 1916, a combination of a storm at sea and an enormous surge of water from the IJssel caused flooding in large parts of the area around the Zuiderzee.

Taming the Zuiderzee

Dykes burst, people were killed and the damage was enormous. There had already been plans to tame the Zuiderzee for some time. Engineer Cornelis Lely was now asked to produce a plan for the construction of the Afsluitdijk. Work began in 1927 and the last section was completed in 1932.

That section was located at the point where the monument designed by Willem Dudok now stands. Near the monument stands the sculpture of a stone cutter, a memorial to the five thousand workers who built the Afsluitdijk.