Thursday, March 25, 2010

A windmill in Jerusalem

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The sky is dreary and dull today, not great for SkyWatch Friday.
What is jutting INTO the sky is more interesting: a 135-year-old windmill!
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Before the Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia was built in the 1920s, the area was owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and was called Jinzeriah.
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The Church built this windmill around 1875 to grind the local grain crops.
It even had a petrol engine for when the wind died down. This made it superior, in theory, to the other windmill built by Montefiore in Mishkenot Sha'ananim not far away.
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Later, following the Russian revolution, the Greek Orthodox Church was nearing bankruptcy and had to sell the fields to the Palestine Land Development Company.
This (along with the new steam mill technology) put the windmill out of business.
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Then, as the Jerusalem Step by Step guidebooks says,
"[The windmill] remained inactive for years and the children of Rehavia used the opportunity to remove the cross from the top of the structure."
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A famous Jewish architect bought the windmill and lived in it from 1935 to 1941.
His study was just under the dome. How cool is that?!
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Appropriately enough, in the 1950s and 60s the structure housed the Dutch consulate and the consul's residence.
After that, it again stood empty until 1987 when it was converted into a small, exclusive shopping center.
The contractors had wanted to build a residential building instead, but thankfully, the Jerusalem Municipality had the sense to say NO. Thus the windmill was restored and is preserved.
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34 comments:

Reader Wil said...

Thank you Dina for the information about that windmill! It's great to see this building. Windmills came only after the crusades in our country. The crusaders saw their first mills in Greece, I believe. In my country they were used for many purposes, like grinding grain, making paper, grinding spices, but in the region where I live they were used for keeping the polders dry, by pumping the water into a canal and then into the river. Your mill is very beautiful and has an interesting history. So Mendelsohn lived there!

Dina said...

Wil, thanks for this really interesting information that only YOU could know and contribute.
I really love to see windmills. It's like they have a life of their own.
Mendelsohn was the architect who lived in the windmill, lucky guy.

moneythoughts said...

Thanks for the pictures and history, I found it very interesting.

Rob and Mandy said...

I first thought it was the Montefiore mill!
Mills are quite widely found in Spain. Some Spaniard even used to fight them...

cieldequimper said...

Lovely story, I imagine it must be fun to live there, just like a lighthouse or a church.

Spiderdama said...

It`s a beautiful windmill and photos!
some friends of mine went to Israel today and I am a little jealous:-)
Shalom!

Regina said...

Interesting and great story of the windmill.
Great shots Dina.
Shalom.

Laura Hegfield said...

very interesting Dina. I love the shot with the palm frond in the foreground. Shabbat Shalom and chag sameach.

VP said...

Just by chance this was one of the first pictures I took the first day of my first trip in Israel, twenty years ago!

James said...

I never would have guest. This is very cool.

jeannette said...

I'm glad they preserved at least the mill! I smiled when I saw Reader Wil's comment -she is very knowledgeable!
In the town of my childhood (5-10 years old) they had a mill, and one day I went in there with some friends. They had two very large round stones in there taking up almost all of the space -my quess is that the grain was put between the two stones, and the wind brought those two large stones in movement.
From the outside you wouldn't think it would be so huge inside!
You're giving me an idea... Have a great weekend, Dina!

Jay said...

I had no idea that there were windmills in Jerusalem! How interesting!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I'm glad the mill is preserved. What a great history. It made me smile. I loved it that the Dutch had an office there.

Eaglesbrother said...

The skies may be dreary but the post was great.
Thank you

Virginia said...

The bottom one is my favorite Dina. You do some marvelous work with POV. I would have never guessed the windmill was Jeruselum!
V

Light and Voices said...

I haven't ever been to Jerusalem so of course haven't ever seen this windmill. G-o-l-l-y! That windmill is impressive. Jerusalem is now on my "bucket list."
Joyce, IL, U.S.A.

Dimple said...

Windmills are fascinating. In the plains of the United States small windmills pump water for cattle to drink. And along the Columbia River many tall, sleek modern windmills generate electricity.
Thanks for a very interesting post!

Suzanne said...

OK, now you've done it. This was at the end of my street, Rehov Ramban. I'm cryng buckets of tears! I didn't know the history so thank you so much for your diligent research. Shabbat Shalom, Dina.

Louis la Vache said...

Great story!

Pietro said...

I like so much that windmill. It's very interesting, Dina, and in such a beautiful place and architecture. Nice photos!

Jew Wishes said...

What beautiful photos...so filled with nostalgia and wonderful history.

Windmills have a beauty all their own, blending nature and man on the landscape.

Jilly said...

What a fascinating history. I love that the windmill is still there to be enjoyed and goodness, a shopping centre, no less.

Dina, thanks for your visit to Fruits of the Sea. Of course I completely forgot that it is not eaten in the Jewish religion. I should have remembered - my first husband was Jewish. I now don't eat meat but not for any reason other than I don't like the way some animals are killed. Feel rather like that about fish and maybe shellfood will enter the equation too one day. Long live tofu! and nuts!

Grace and Bradley said...

What an amazing history of this building!! I wonder what will it be in another one hundred years.

Ann said...

They should repair the windmill and get the free wind energy.

Thanks for commentary.

Adira said...

Thank you for the picture and the history!

I think it would be very cool to live in a windmill.(A light house would be cool also.)

I'm glad they didn't tear this down. It's remarkable to think of a windmill like that in Jerusalem!

What an amazing part of the world you are blessed to live in!

Halcyon said...

Beautiful windmill! I'm glad it has survived all these years.

Happy Friday!

Beth said...

Beautiful!

JM said...

It's beautiful! The stone work is just great.

Jørgen Carlsen said...

Thanks to the Jerusalem Municipalty for saying no to the shopping-center-plan. You did avoid the Mill-Madness. It must be enough to have the Mall-Madness according to yesterdays photos from a modern cathedral.

Abraham said...

I like this mill and the pictures that you took of it.

Hilda said...

Wow, even the windmill has such a fascinating history. It's beautiful too, so I'm really glad it was preserved.

Joyful said...

Wonderful piece of history. I love old buildings and structures and you've captured it well.

Kcalpesh said...

Hi Dina, thank you for sharing these pictures and information! The wind mill must be really doing wonders then, with it's being functional with helpf of natural as well as artificial resources... A picturesque place, very well shot!

Pixellicious Photos

Dick said...

That is interesting, it gives me a good feeling to see a windmill in Jerusalem, makes it feel like home.