Windmills in Crete

Nikithianos

Nikithianos windmills
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Windmills are characteristic of eastern Crete (Lassithi) and particularly of the province of Merambelo, where rivers are absent. In Western Crete, where there are more springs and rivers, watermills were developed. Another reason is Lasithi is one of the most windy places in Greece. The mills were built into mountainsides and in places exposed to the winds.

North of Nikithianos village, Merambelo district, we still meet one of the most impressive windmill parks of Crete. There are still standing several windmills in a row. Others survive in good condition and others have collapsed. These mills are of two types: the completely circular, turning to all winds, called Xetrocharis and the more usual that turns only in a certain wind called Axetrocharis (this has rectangular shape). These mills were used for grinding grain.

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