Talk about windmills and people think about Holland rather than Menorca or Spain.
The standard explanation of the origins of this concept is that the idea was brought
from Persia by the returning Crusaders.
However the fact is that by 1604 wind power
was a major factor of the Spanish economy as evidenced by the publication ofthe novel
Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes under the title The Ingenious Knight of La Mancha.
If you are not familiar with this novel or want to learn more
Moli have long been a feature of the Balearic Island landscape. Menorca was the first
of the Balearic Islands to embrace the modern turbine. Turbines were erected at Milà to
harness energy from the island's famous tramontana (prevailing northerly wind). Plans
are under review for up to four more sites.
Today the old Moli of Menorca have largely been relegated to tourist attractions.
There is the restaurant inside the 300 year-old "molino". Moli d'es Raco in Es Mercadal
is on the main road from Mao to Ciutadella and the tourist office in the square in Cuitadella.
Fortunately for Windmill lovers and tourists alike the tradition of Menorcan wind power have
been preserved in Sant Lluís.
Molí de Dalt was built in 1762 during the brief French domination of the island of Minorca.
Two further followed and to this day these three mills form a spectacular backdrop for the town.
Visitors to Molí de Dalt will see machinery reconstructed using original partswhich illustrates
the simple but effective engineering which was in use nearly two hundred and fifty years ago
in the production of flour.
Also on show are Moli sails which demonstrate the complex system for rigging these sails.
is a small museum displaying tools used locally along the ages for farming, cheese making, blacksmiths,
bread making and transportation of goods and people.
Today Spain still ranks highly to this day as a major force in wind power. The Global Wind Energy
Council ranked Spain third in terms of overall installed wind-power capacity, at nearly 16,000 megawatts.
Ahead of Spain are Germany, at nearly 24,000 megawatts of capacity, and the United States, at No. 1,
with over 25,000 megawatts.
Menorca seems determined not to be left behind in making a significant
contribution to the national effort.