Windmills of The Netherlands
The Netherlands is so closely associated with windmills, that it's often the
first fact people recall about the country. The Dutch built windmills for
many centuries (and to some extent, the windmills built the country itself,
since without them much of the land drainage could not have occured). In that
time the mills were developed for corn milling, land drainage, saw milling,
and in fact all manner of
industrial purposes. Despite this
widespread use, Dutch mills are in may ways quite primitive - using canvas
sails, and turned to wind by hand (as distinct from the automated mechanisms
that were developed for English windmills, including the fantail, and
There are a very pleasing number of remaining windmills in the Netherlands -
the number is about 1150 and rising, in that the Dutch only count complete
workable mills, and in the past 10 years especially many extensive rebuilds
have occured to add to this number.
Many of the sites that cover Dutch windmills are themselves only written in
Dutch. You can use the online translation service at
to provide automated translation into English.
Country wide coverage
There are 8 windmills in Amsterdam.
A group of 19 mills used to pump water. A World Heritage site.
A group of mills, mainly used for industrial purposes. Some of the mills
have been moved to the site, to try and give an impression of how the area
which once had 1000 windmills would have looked.
Text and images © Mark Berry,