Posted in History Around The World | July 22, 2010 | 0 Comments

Wind power has for long caught the attention of humans. The sails have put a water-vessel to motion, the crops have been threshed using the power of wind, and the turbines of a windmill have rotated using wind.

The next logical step was to use wind to provide for mechanical power. The first windmill was designed and created in the 9th century and was used to grind corn as well as to pump water.

The first windmills of Europe made a rather late appearance in the 12th century. They may have been inspired by the Middle East’s vertical-axle windmills. This, however, seems little unlikely given the fact that the Europeans used a different design from that which was seen in the Middle East. Almost all the windmills of Europe were seen to rotate on what was a horizontal axis.

6) Rhodes Windmills, Greece

The Mandraki Harbor, where these windmills lie, was once upon a time, the military port of ancient Rhodes. It was home to the famous Colossus of Rhodes, which was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The long wave breaker, as it is known, has three windmills dating back to the medieval ages. They once were used to grind the grains that were undocked from the merchant vessels at the harbor.

5) Oland Windmills, Sweden

Oland is considered the second largest island of Sweden. It is sparsely populated. The island is dominated by farm lands and woods. The 400 odd wooden windmills of Oland have become synonymous with the image of this island. Each of these windmills was created for the needs of individual farms. In today’s day and date, they’re protected monuments now.

4) Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

The area of Zaanse Schans is an open – air conservation area and museum. It is located on the bank of River Zaan in Netherlands; and displays what can typically be called architecture traditional to the area. There are black and green wooden houses, craftsmen’s workshops and several windmills that are functioning till date. Almost all of these are open to visitors.

3) The Windmills of La Mancha, Spain

The vast and arid plains of Spain (central region) are home to the Castilla –La Mancha. The land is characterized by its medieval castles, wine and the famous windmills.

2) Mykonos Windmills, Greece

The windmills of Mykonos are the most recognized structures on the island. The group of 5 windmills is perhaps the first thing you will notice on landing on the island. They stand atop a hill which makes them even more viewable. On the island of Mykonos stand around 16 windmills in total. Most of these were built by the Venetians during the 16th century and were used to grind wheat. They stopped being used by the end of the 20th century.

1) Kinderdijk, Netherlands

Around 1000 windmills continue to exist in Netherlands. The largest concentration of them, however, can be found at Kinderdijk. These were used to drain the excess water which was present in the polders, which were situated below the sea levels. Around 19 of these windmills were built in 1740.They have been well maintained and can still be used till date, though mechanical pumps have now taken over what was earlier their sole task.

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