The Windmills of Patmos

The Windmills of Patmos

The windmills of Chora
Built in the east of the Holy Monastery of Patmos, on the top of the hill with view of the sea, the three windmills of Chora gave their name to the neighboring district of Mili. From the moment of their restoration in 2010, they can be characterized as another jewel of the island, which was awarded by Europa Nostra.

Windmills (two of which date back to 1588, and the third was built in 1863) fell into disuse in the late 1950s, when the industrial milling replaced the traditional production. The mills in Patmos, as well as in whole Europe, were deserted .

The ruined mills, visible from the sea, moved the Swiss banker and yachtsman, Mr. Charles Pictet, a fervent friend of Patmos. He envisioned them with sails filled with the Aeolus like earthly sailing boats, contributing to both the landscape and the local community, as they had done for four consecutive centuries.

On his initiative and financing, as well as with contributions of individuals and of Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the project of restoration was assigned to the Greek architect Daphne Becket and was completed with the cooperation of people from different horizons, but with the same love and respect for tradition: local shipbuilders, French millers of the eighth generation, Swiss specialists of sailing sails and Greek and French engineers, responsible for the reoperation of the mechanisms. Everyone’s purpose was not only to restore the building shell with traditional materials, but also to restore their utilitarian value, their “soul”, for them to be dynamic and living organisms, friendly towards the environment.

Today, the first mill reopened as a flour mill, with the aim not only to offer its visitors the image of the traditional flour production technology, but also to assist in the revival of the traditional crafts of flourman and baker and the production of products of the past.

The second windmill, because of the replacement of the grindstone by a generator and the installation of a metal rolling beam with mechanical brake for the waterwheel, is able to generate electricity from wind power. Finally, the plan for the third windmill is water production.

The windmills of Chora are reasonably some of its attractions; they are, however, above all a living monument, a bridge connecting the past with the present and the future.

  • To read the review of the project by its initiator, Mr. Charles Pictet, click here.
  • To read the history of their restoration by the architect Daphne Becket (in English), click here.
  • To see the windmills as they are presented by Europa Nostra, click here.

References:

http://www.energia.gr/article.asp?art_id=61615

http://www.thebestinheritage.com/presentations/2013/windmills-of-the-monastery-of-st.john-the-theologian,,232.html

 

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