Manufactured landscapes

The Netherlands are a country of contrasts. Sometimes things which seem not fit together are packed into the smallest space. The little town of Ijmuiden is the entrance of the canal leading to the port of Amsterdam. The entrance is protected by 5 locks. The biggest so far was the world’s biggest lock at the the time of construction in the 1920ies. It was 400 m long and 50 wide. Next to it a new one is almost finished. It will be the world’s biggest for the moment, 500 m by 70. There are three more

Nord Superior is docked in the big lock

The backdrop for the locks is an industrial landscape of the only big steel work in the Netherlands and a huge cement factory. Locks, steelworks and factory are an attraction and numerous tourists and ship spotters enjoy the views despite the dust of the cement works and the acid air emerging from the steel works.

The cycle path under the conveyor belt of the cement works

On the other side of the steel works is a popular beach which enjoys cleaner air since the wind in the Netherlands mostly comes from the West. South of the locks is an enormous fishing harbor, the terminal for a ferry to Britain, which towers above the houses of town by at least 4 floors, and an enormous German bunker for speed boats built in WWII.

The bunker is on the terrain of a private company, but on some occasions it is open. The story of the bunker is worth reading

South of fishing harbor and bunker is one of the biggest national parks of the Netherlands, which protects the coastal dunes. The park and the adjoining beach in return are protected by another line of WWII bunkers.

Manufactured landscapes is a film by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynski, who has spent his life documenting the changes of landscapes by human influence

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