Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, is home to some of the oldest and most iconic windmills in the world. These majestic windmills have been part of the island’s landscape for centuries and are an important part of its cultural heritage.
The windmills of Fuerteventura were built to serve as means of grinding wheat and other grains for the production of flour.
These mills have been very important for the daily life of the local population and have represented an important source of livelihood for many families.
In this article, we will guide you through the history and beauty of Fuerteventura’s windmills.
History of the windmills of Fuerteventura
From the past to the present day
The windmills of Fuerteventura date back to the Spanish colonization of the island in the sixteenth century. The first mills were very simple and were built with local materials such as wood, sand and mud. Most of these were used to grind grain and flour.
Over the years, windmills have gotten bigger and more complex with the introduction of new materials such as iron, which has allowed for greater resistance against the forces of the wind. Technologies have also advanced, allowing for greater efficiency in the production of energy from the wind.
Today, the windmills of Fuerteventura are considered real historical monuments that serve as a reminder of the important agricultural history of the island. Even today many of these mills are used to produce clean and efficient energy, contributing to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
How are they built?
From wood to new technologies
The design and construction of these windmills was influenced by the need to make the most of the wind to turn the paddle wheel. The conical shape of the roof, for example, was designed to allow air to flow through it and to turn the paddlewheel more efficiently. The location of the mills was also carefully chosen so that they would benefit from constant rotation with the wind.
The windmills of Fuerteventura are built in a traditional style, with stone walls and wooden roofs. Most of them are about 8 meters high and about 5 meters in diameter. These mills are equipped with a paddle wheel which rotates thanks to the wind and moves the millstone inside the mill. The windmills of Fuerteventura are an example of traditional architecture and represent an important part of the island’s history.
Where are the windmills of Fuerteventura?
The windmills of Fuertventura are an unmissable attraction for anyone visiting the island. These ancient buildings are found in several locations, with a particular concentration in the northwest part of the island. Here, between Tindaya, Betancuria, Antigua, Triquivijate, La Oliva and Corralejo, it is possible to admire these priceless architectures. The northeastern part of the island, which extends from Betancuria to Lajares, also includes many windmills, including those of La Oliva.
These mills are a symbol of the artisanal talent of the island’s inhabitants. In fact, they were built between the 16th and 19th centuries by local craftsmen and, despite their age, many of them still function today. The structure is well preserved, thanks to the commitment of the private owners who have decided to preserve this important historical heritage.
A real tourist attraction
The windmills of Fuerteventura are an increasingly popular tourist attraction. Many visitors flock to the island to admire them, appreciate the local culture and history, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the island. Learning about the history of the windmills and the manufacturing processes of the products is another activity that visitors can experience.
The windmills are also a great place to take photos and many visitors take advantage of them. There are gift shops selling windmill-related items, such as postcards and other mementos.
A visit to the windmills of Fuerteventura is highly recommended and will certainly leave you with beautiful memories. If you are in the Canary Islands, do not miss the opportunity to take a trip to La Oliva and admire the majestic windmills of Fuerteventura.