We didn’t want to leave Amsterdam without a visit to Zaanse Schans, which is a kind of historic park with twelve working windmills. While there, we learned that there are currently 1100 working windmills still operating in the Netherlands; during the pre-industrial revolution days, there were 1100 in the small area around Zaanse alone.
I was so impressed to see the engineering genius that is a windmill. These things truly built the Netherlands and powered the famous Dutch East India company into existence. Which means they built the Westernized world as we know it. Windmills were used to saw wood, grind minerals into pigment, create linseed oil, grind spices, and more. You can read about them on Wikipedia here, if you’re interested. I definitely was!
They are formidable structures. I can imagine what it must have been like to see thousands of them crowding the horizon. It’s no wonder Don Quixote dreamed of overcoming one.
posted by Veronica (verolawlor)