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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

A hundred years ago, windmills could be found around the world and were much more common features of our landscapes but modern technology has made these historic wind-powered factories practically redundant. Today is International Windmill Day so let’s celebrate the world’s most iconic windmills.



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If you’re heading to this spectacular Greek island then the windmills will no doubt make their way into your photos. They’re a symbol of the island are the first thing you see as you approach Mykonos Town from sea. Mykonos has 16 windmills, mostly built by the Venetians in the 16th century, which were used to grind wheat. They haven’t been used for sixty or so years but are a must to visit while on holidays in Mykonos.


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The Netherlands is home to some of the most famous windmills in the world. You’ll find the largest concentration of them in a small village called Kingerdijk which were used to drain water from the polders. There are 19 windmills here which were all built in and around the 1740s. Today they are excellently preserved and are still in use (mostly for educational purposes though).

Like a local: Amsterdam


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Öland is Sweden’s second largest island with very few residents. The island is mostly used for farming which is why windmills had a prominent role. Öland’s windmills; there are around 400 of them, are made out of wood and have become a symbol for the place. Once used by the farmers, today these rustic windmills are all protected historic monuments.

Sweden 101: what first-time visitors should know

La Mancha

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You’ll be well acquainted with Spain’s windmills if you’ve ever read Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Perched upon the hills of La Mancha, these windmills are one of the most recognised sights in the country and have been around for several hundred years. Don Quixote was published in the early 1600s and already at that time the novel’s hero was fighting these “giants.” Don’t miss out on the medieval castles and wineries also in the Castilla-La Mancha region.

Have you ever visited a windmill and explored the inside? Where was it?

Imgs: Mykonos, Kinderdijk, Öland, La Mancha

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