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UNESCO World Heritage

The entire Defence Line of Amsterdam is protected by the Province of North Holland and the Dutch government as a monument. In 1996 the UNESCO officially recognized the importance of this historical Dutch defence system by including the ‘Stelling’ in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Other sites featured on this list are, amongst others, the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Giza (Egypt), Grand Canyon National Park (USA), Mont-Saint-Michel (France) and Cologne Cathedral (Germany). Amongst the other Dutch monuments with a UNESCO World Heritage status are the Rietveld Schröder House, the Wadden Sea, the Beemster Polder and the 17th century canal ring area of Amsterdam.
For more information, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s website: whc.unesco.org.

Visitor centres

Forteiland Pampus © Cultuurcompagnie NH

Each fortress tells its own story. Do you want to know more about the Defence Line as a whole? Then go the visitor centre on Fort Island Pampus…read more where the origins and operation of the Defense Line are explained through films, exhibitions and 3D objects. How water can be both friend and foe is highlighted in the nearby Waterschild pavilion.

Time Line


1960 - 1981

1945 - 1960

First and second World war

1914 - 1945

The second standard design (b)

1907 - 1914

The first standard design (a)

1896 - 1907

1884 - 1896

Fortification Act

1874 - 1884


1845 - 1874

National Landscape

Nature conservation

Three organizations are involved in the preservation of the natural surroundings, landscape and... read more...

Plants and animals

The forts and dikes of the Defence Line of... read more...
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