Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Yemin Moshe windmill works once more!

Two months ago Jerusalem's Montefiore windmill was all wrapped up and minus its dome.

Next to it parts were waiting to be put up--gears and wings and wooden bow things.
Click on the photo and then click again to find all the exciting details.

It is exciting to see new life for our windmill because the last time it ground wheat was 119 years ago!

It was put back in working order using replica parts made in Britain to the designs of the Holman Company of UK that built the original mill in 1857.
The parts were shipped to experts for assembly in Holland and then transported for final fitting to the mill in Jerusalem.
The funding of the restoration and the operating and maintenance expenses for the first few years--some 5 million shekels ($1,250,000)--was raised by the Jerusalem Foundation, Christians for Israel (Dutch Friends from Holland), The Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Jerusalem Municipality.

And here is a picture from August 14. Isn't she beautiful?!
Tonight was the festive rededication of the windmill.
Sorry I could not be there.

Soon, some say, the sails will be turning and flour will be produced and the bread made from it will be sold to visitors.
The mill will operate five days a week at set hours and will effectively become the only working mill in Israel.
The Jerusalem Foundation website says

Inside the mill, the historic four story structure will be restored as it looked when the flour mill was active. There will be four floors: a "Flour Floor" - at the entrance to the mill, the "Mill Floor," on the second floor, which held the heavy millstones, and the "Seed Floor" on the third level, where sacks of grain were emptied into large containers and placed on the fourth floor, the "Dust Floor" at the top.

Visitors coming to the mill will be able to enter at the ground floor, look at the flour milling process and watch a short movie about the establishment of the windmill and [19th century] Jewish settlement outside the Old City walls.
I can hardly wait! I have never seen the inside of a windmill.

The wonderful blog "Israel's History--A Picture a Day" has good information and historic photos of the mill, including one showing how the British army blew up a Haganah sniper's nest at the top of the windmill in 1948.
UPDATE #2: The wonderful The Real Jerusalem Streets blog shows first-hand coverage of the dedication ceremony with all the VIPs.

Watch videos:
The architects explain the history of the windmill and plans for its future.
Hoisting the cap and wings into place.
The first turning, August 28!


Pat said...

What a delightful windmill for grinding flour! I love this Dutch-Israeli connection as my husband is of 100% Dutch ancestry, and we are Christians for Israel, too. We remember God's promises to Abraham.

Fran said...

How cool! Thanks for sharing this - how I would love to come back and go inside!

Sara said...

That is exciting! Can't wait to see the results of your visit.

Hels said...

An important part of the Jerusalem economy in the 19th century. Without the great hearts of the Jewish diaspora, the good citizens of the Yisuv would have starved.

Delighted to see the mill up and running again.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for telling me about the mill we both visited on one of my last days in Israel. I definitely must come back to see it again and you are invited to see the 20 mills of Kinderdijk! Stay with me of course.

Cathy Hudspeth said...

Very interesting post! I learned something new today!

VP said...

In this festive rededication I am even more proud of the great Livornese Moses Montefiore!

Dina said...

Friends, thanks for your good comments.

VP, I almost forgot! Yes, Montefiore was born in your very own Livorno.
Your reminder prompted me to read the whole Wiki about him and I learned a lot.

Karl Demetz said...

Very interesting post, Dina. I like the beautiful white windmill too.

Spiderdama said...

That windmill is very beautiful! We do not have any here (I think), but our neighbors, Denmark is full of them. Many modern but the old are the most beautiful.

Rob Mandy said...

Oh great news! She is such a beauty, and such an important part of the Jerusalem skyline!

Kay said...

I remember seeing wonderful windmills in the Netherlands. I'm glad you've got one close by to enjoy.