Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
I15
Kootwijk
1923

Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk

Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk

Radio Kootwijk’s transmitter park was built between 1918 and 1923 on an abandoned site some 12 km from Apeldoorn, in the Veluwe National Park. The Radio Kootwijk transmission conglomerate was the first to provide a direct radio link with the Dutch East Indies. The park’s main building is one of the most accomplished examples of art deco architecture in the Netherlands and is a protected national monument.

Radio Kootwijk
Considerable preparations had to be made before the Radio Kootwijk’s transmitter park could be built. These included levelling the undulating, sandy terrain building roads a railway line which remained in operation until 1947, and the laying of a special power line to bring electricity from the central power plant in Nijmegen, to a substation near Apeldoorn. Whilst this transmitter park was being built in Kootwijk, another was being built in the Dutch East Indies to the south of Bandung. The distance between the two stations was a hefty 12,000 km.

Art deco style
The first transmissions used longwave radio signals which needed hundreds of kilowatts of electricity, and enormous equipment. Then only a few years after the park had been completed, the feasibility of using shortwave radio was discovered, which required less expensive and smaller equipment. The first transmitter soon became obsolete, and Radio Kootwijk changed to a shortwave band.Transmissions stopped all together in 2000 and the park now belongs to the Dutch State Forestry Service (Staatsbosbeheer). The main building is still a magnificent example of art deco architecture, with a combination of the Berlin and Amsterdam Schools. It stands in the dunes of Kootwijkerzand National Park like a cathedral. Having said this, it was in fact inspired by the sphinx.

The Radio Kootwijk village
Radio Kootwijk’s transmitter park was much more than just a magnificent building. It was actually a village too. During the construction of the radio station, a number of 212-metre-high radio masts were also built a water tower, hangers, offices for management, homes for staff and a guesthouse for ‘unmarried civil servants’. The guesthouse was later converted into a hotel which burnt down in 2006. The village did not have any facilities of its own (and still hasn´t), but what it did have, was a melting pot of cultures, and a particularly vibrant community life. There are still about 100 people living in the village.

Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
Radio Kootwijk – Radio Kootwijk
I15 Radio Kootwijk
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