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Molens

Alkmaar was built on higher ground, on a natural sand ridge known as the Kennemergeest that is surrounded by lakes and marshes. As a result, the city has many polder windmills that were employed in the struggle against flooding. Besides these, there are many other windmills that have a more economic function. In the past, many of the windmills that ground grain into flour were located on the city ramparts The city has these windmills to thank for a significant part of its growth. It is also worth noting that the Netherlands’ first oil mill once stood in Alkmaar. Many windmill inventions took place here.

Windmills can be divided into three main categories depending on their source of power: horsemills, watermills and windmills. The present number of mills in Alkmaar totals 12 windmills: 2 of these are tower mills and 10 are polder mills (ground-sailers).

The mills that are still present in Alkmaar today are briefly described below.

De EendrachtDe Eendracht, Kruseman van Eltenweg
This polder mill, a round stone ground-sailer that was built in 1771, drained the Eendrachtspolder on the Schermerboezem in bygone days. As the city expanded, the mill became boxed in by the surrounding buildings. As part of its recent restoration, the mill has been fitted with a wooden paddle wheel, which is a characteristic feature for a mill of this type.



De SluismolenDe Sluismolen, Helderseweg 87

This polder mill with octagonal oak panels on a pedestal base, is a ground-sailer dating from 1575/2002 and was used to drain the Grote Sluispolder. Although the mill was completely destroyed by fire in 2001, it has now been restored to its original state.

De ViaanDe Viaan
This polder mill with octagonal oak panels on a pedestal base, is a ground-sailer dating from 1579. Assisted by an electric pumping station, this mill is still responsible for draining a large part of the Bergermeerpolder today. Although the mill has a miller’s dwelling, it was probably never inhabited.


RobonsbosmolenMunniken-, Raven en Robonsbosmolen

This polder mill with octagonal oak panels on a pedestal base, is a ground-sailer dating from 1781/1976. It was the Schermerboezem signal mill until 1981. The mill cap was fitted with a light for this purpose while in its unrigged condition between 1931 and 1976. The exterior of the mill was restored in 1976 and has been fitted with living quarters.

De GeestmolenDe Geestmolen
This polder mill with octagonal oak panels on a pedestal base, is a ground-sailer dating from 1565 that drained the Egmondermeer Geestmolenpolder on the Schermerboezem. At the beginning of the nineteen sixties, a new housing estate called “De Hoef” was built in the polder and around the mill. The scenic value of the mill has been completely lost as a result.
 


Molen van PietMolen de Groot / Molen van Piet

This corn mill is a round stone tower mill dating from 1769. In that year, this enormous stone mill known as “de Groot” replaced three standard wooden mills. In 1884, the mill came into the possession of Mr. C. Piet and as the mill has been owned by the family for such a long period of time it has become affectionately known as Piet’s mill.



't Roode Hert't Roode Hert

This corn mill with its octagonal tower mill dates from 1748 and boasts a rich history. After burning down twice, a corn mill was rebuilt on the same spot in 1925. This former rice-husker the Witte Klok stood on the southside of the Zaanse Schans in Zaandam since 1748.





Strijkmolen Geestmer ambachtArtisan mill “achter Oudorp”
This drainage mill is a ground-sailer dating from 1632 that drained the Raaksmaatboezem. It is known in Dutch as a ‘strijkmolen’ or drainage mill. The slight difference in height gave the appearance that the mill was ‘scraping’ the water away.
 



Strijkmolen The 4 ‘strijkmolens’ (scrapemills) of Oudorp

These ‘strijkmolens’ are ground-sailers that were built between 1627 and 1630. A total of six of these drainage mills once lined the Colonnade. They are commonly known as the "Zes Wielen". In 1688, the most easterly of these mills was destroyed by fire and was never rebuilt. The most westerly mill was dismantled and rebuilt in the Open Air Museum in Arnhem. An English bomb made an end to the mill that was stored there.

The ‘strijkmolen’ along the Molenkade are not only impDe gouden engel 2ortant in a cultural-historical sense: they also collectively support the Zeswielen and Hoornseweg. The Piet and Viaanse mills also form landmark buildings as a result of their location at river junctions and mouths.

De Strijkmolen E2Strijkmolen D2Robonsbosmolen 2