Windmills - perfect combination of beauty and power
|Post mill from Jażewnica (1876), open air museum in Wdzydze Kiszewskie, Poland|
A windmill is a mill that converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. The first windwheel was used in the Babylon for the irrigation project in the seventeenth century BCE. The earliest certain reference to a windmill in Europe dates from 12th century.
|Post mill from Grzmucin (1921), open air museum in Tokarnia, Poland|
The earliest windmills were used to grind cereals, but since the first half of the fourteenth century in the Netherlands were used to drain polders. In later years wind energy was used to paint mixing, crushing of rocks, cutting of wood etc. The majority of modern windmills take the form of wind turbines used to generate electricity, or windpumps used to pump water, either for land drainage or to extract groundwater.
|"Stawa Młyn" (1873-1874) - beacon in the shape of windmill in Świnoujście, Poland|
Poland is blessed with a veritable wealth of mill, many sadly in varying states of decay. The most popular windmill type in Poland is the smock mill, on which only the cap is rotated rather than the whole body of the mill. It is named as "holender" ("Dutch windmill"). Another very common type of windmill in Poland is the post mill. There is the earliest type of European windmill, and in Poland is known as "koźlak". The whole body of that mill that houses the machinery is mounted on a single vertical post, around which it can be turned to bring the sails into the wind.
|Smock mill from Brusy (1876), open air museum in Wdzydze Kiszewskie, Poland|
Poland has a lot of open-air museums (known as "skansen"), many of which have a windmill among their exhibits.
|The interior of the smock mill from Brusy (1876), open air museum in Wdzydze Kiszewskie, Poland|