Windmill with wooden sails

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this mill was sketched by the Archduke Ludwig salvador of Austria in the 1880s
Mallorcan mill in Germany
working windmill near Palma-Manacor motorway

Windmills - Loose Ends

It is traditional for Mallorcan windmills to be painted in blue and white, the former symbolising water and the latter air. According to the Archduke Ludwig Salvador of Austria, there were 56 windmills in Mallorca in 1872. Twenty years later there were 1,895, 44% of them to the east of Palma. With a brisk wind, some mills could pump 40,000 litres an hour. Such enormous quantities, extracted on a wide scale, caused deeper wells to be dug each year and led to a serious fall in the water table levels and their consequent salinity, particularly in the Sant Jordi and Campos areas.

Mallorcans took their windmill building skills abroad with them, some to South America, others to the Antipodes. Fr David Barry, monk of the Benedictine Community in New Norcia, Western Australia, spent some time in Europe in 2002 locating references to New Norcia in the archives there. One of his finds was correspondence by Brother Romualdo Sala, a Mallorcan, in which he said, “His Mallorcan companions [Bartolomé] Ramis and [Augustín] Ferrer he reports as being well; the latter has built a windmill for the use of the Mission.”

There is also a replica of a Mallorcan windmill in the International Wind and Water Mill Museum in Gifhorn in Lower Saxony Germany. The prettified, and very atypical, ground floor of the mill houses an exhibition of Mallorcan mills entitled "Yesterday - Today".

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