Lassithi plateau hosted, after the 1950s, the first, largest and most beautiful wind farm in the world with approximately 13000 windmills with a total installed power of above 5MW. The windmills operated as pumping engines above the wells of the plain to water the crops in summer.
The windmills, some of which still stand like ghosts of a bygone era waiting for someone to put them back into service, bore lightweight metal frame and very light sails. For many years, the first tourists of Crete ascended to Lassithi Plateau to admire the landscape with the thousands white sails working tirelessly to water the crops. Unfortunately this memory is imprinted today only in old photographs. There are still some windmills at the courtyards of the taverns, while some of them have been installed at the entrance of the plateau to welcome visitors.
The draft of the first pumping windmills, which were made of wood, was invented by Emmanuel Papadakis from Psichro village (in 1890). After 1900s, about 20 wooden windmills operated in the plateau. The windmills were of the type of single-weather (could not change directions) and the tower was a large tripod. The same inventor later turned the tower to a quadruped and devised a mechanism for rotating the mill along the wind. Later, Stefanos Markakis from village Marmaketo replaced the wood with metal, giving height and better performance, resulting in its current form.
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