Mary Beth Clark

Culinary Educator · Consultant · Author

The Windmills of Kato Mili

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Greece - Mykonos - The Windmills of Kato Mili

Some of the most recognized landmarks among the Greek isles are the Windmills of Kato Mili on Mykonos. Primarily built by the Venetians in the 16th-century A.D., windmill construction continued into early 20-century A.D. Purposely situated on the hill in Chora, they were powered by gusty winds, especially the meltemi. Meltemi wind, also called Etesian wind, is a strong, dry Northern wind occuring in the Aegean Sea and other areas around the Mediterranean Sea. Blowing from May through October, its strongest action is from June to September. Averaging 4 to 5 Beaufort Wind Scale, it can reach 5 to 7 or even 8 Beaufort Wind Scale meaning continual movement on land with large wavelets, cresting, and scattered whitecaps on sea.

Utilizing natural power in this manner made Mykonos a principal stop on trade routes. These windmills were used primarily to mill wheat, barley, and other grains. Flour was transported along the routes as well as distributed to local bakeries. By mid 20th-century A.D., milling ceased. A reminder of the island's past affluency, these windmills have been restored as heritage monuments and a museum.

 

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Original photography, shot on location, by Mary Beth Clark.Back to Album

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