Radio Kootwijk

Radio Kootwijk is a radio facility built in 1918 in order to keep Holland in contact with its colony of the Dutch East Indies.  The housing facilties needed for its employees resulted in a small village sharing the same name.

Radio Kootwijk is situated at the Veluwe which was, at the time that the complex was built, an area with a low population density, making it ideal for such a radio facility. In order to improve the efficiency of the transmitter, a large area of the heather and forrest around the complex was flattened.

In 1923 the Dutch PTT (Post, Telegrafie en Telefonie) started a transoceanic telegraphy connection, using a longwave transmitter which was situated in Building A. This large concrete building, designed by Joris Luthman, was inspired by an Egyptian Sphynx, but it was later nicknamed “The Cathedral” (at the time, this caused some consternation with the rather religious locals).

In 1925 the longwave transmitter was replaced by a shortwave version and in 1928 a radio-telephonic connection was established between Holland and the Dutch East Indies. At the time a three minute phonecall would cost about 30 Dutch guilders (12-15 euros).

With the arrival of new communication techniques like satellites, Radio Kootwijk lost its of role wireless connection point and in 1980 the last transmission mast was blown up.

“The Cathedral”or Building A is now an official monument.

Comments are closed.