Ręboszewo, Poland | C.2012

Photo Credit: Michał “WeS” Wesołek

Once using the power of wind to grind grain, this windmill no longer churns out the fixings needed for bread and barley production. It does however, serve coffee. Appearing to have stood atop the hill overlooking Ręboszewo for centuries, the wooden sails of this structure are actually a new addition to Northern Polish countryside. 

The oldest known technique for power generation is harnessing the passing breezes of wind. With records of the Ancient Romans using wind power to horizontal windmills being used in Persia in the 7th Century, the windmill represents one of the great inventions of history. For centuries, windmills were an integral part of daily life in Europe and the Islamic world—important for grain production, water control for irrigating fields, and even sawing lumber. Dotting countrysides where the winds could easily push the sails of these towers, they were a symbol of civilization. With the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, however, where steam and other power generation methods were introduced, windmills in most areas began to fall out of favor. Today, in countries like Poland which were home to numerous towers, only a little more than 90 few historic windmills survive in the entire country.  But hey, being the lone method of power for over a millenia is a pretty good run. 

A testament to the growing nostalgia for simpler times and past eras, the windmill watching over the town of Ręboszewo is a modern reproduction of the previous wooden wonder that once stood there. The new windmill is home to a cosy cafe, an apartment that can host up to four guests, and an observation deck. Hidden amongst the modern amenities on the top floor, however, is the original engine room, showing visitors the intricate wooden gears and systems hidden behind the simple wood-plated façade.  

For travelers seeking a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and pastoral beauty fo a windmill amongst the fields, the windmill of Ręboszewo offers an tranquil retreat (especially for guests staying at its apartment). Harkening back to a simpler time, this modern windmill is a great escape from the many modern machinations that surround current lifestyles. Sitting at one of the many tables outside the wooden building, and looking out into the rolling landscapes of Kashubia, one might even be inspired to start producing their own grain.  

Written By: Seamus McMahon

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