Waterloopbos – Marknesse, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura


Marknesse, Netherlands

This former hydraulic laboratory is now a woodland dotted with old engineering models. 


From 1954 until 1996, these grounds served as a hydraulic open-air laboratory, with dozens of hydraulic engineering scale models built in the forest. Researchers from different countries came to this area to test their ideas. As such, the forest is dotted with models of places all over the world, from Bangkok’s harbor to Denmark’s coast to the Netherlands’s own Delta Works. 

After the laboratory closed in 1996, nature took over and turned the place into a hidden woodland gem. You will find remnants of the models scattered through the forest. Some have been refurbished, while others lie in ruin.

To explore the area, you can just walk around and let the unique combination of engineering and nature surprise you, or you can follow one of the marked walking routes. There are several panels along the routes that provide you more information about the models, history, and natural environment.

Since 2002, the Dutch Society for Nature Conservation has taken care of the place, and is still working on developing the area. In 2018, the model “Deltagoot” was transformed into a monument for the 100th year anniversary of the Zuiderzeewet by the famous dutch design office RAAAF.

Know Before You Go

You can visit Waterloopbos from sunrise to sunset. Free walking on roads and paths, or follow one of the marked routes (there are 2 barrier-free routes suitable for wheelchairs) The pavilion 'Het ProefLab' (TasteLab) is open from wednesday till sunday from 10.00 till 16.30.

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July 29, 2019

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