The Dutch have an ancient relationship battling the country's waters, and many windmills are still here today to proof that bit of history. Some of them are still in use. Wind can be transferred to rotating energy by catching it with wings. Windmills are used for different causes, such as pumping water, grinding corn or grain and creating electricity.
The windmills are spread around the Netherlands and are open for visitors. Unfortunately, because of their old structures not all windmills can be visited by people with limited mobility. We wouldn’t be Accessible Travel Netherlands if we didn’t list some accessible windmills and their surroundings for you. Only the ground floor is accessible for wheelchair users in most of these windmills. Enjoy reading!
Windmill in Beemster
For ages this windmill was grinding grain for all the inhabitants in the neighborhood. This is a special windmill, since it is the only mill in the Netherlands that grinds grain instead of water. Since 2008 the windmill has a new purpose: offer a protected work environment to people for whom ‘regular’ work is too complicated or demanding and where craftmanship is central. 10 people with a disorder are working in the company of the mill. These people grind the grain, bake bread and cookies, and sell these products in the bakery on the mill yard.
Museum mill in Beemster
The local lake ‘Schermeer’ was grind dry between 1633 until 1635 by 52 mills, which created the Schermerpolder. A unique example of water management from the Golden Age. This mill is one of the remained mills of this time. The mill is open between the 1st of April until the 1st of November every year. The miller would be happy to explain how the mill works and tell you more about the history of the mill.
The mill itself is not accessible for wheelchair users, but the visitor center nearby is. This is a place where you can learn more about this mill and how they maintain it.
Windmill in Zaanse Schans
This windmill was built in 2007 and has the use of sawmill. The mill used to be located behind the NS Station of Zaandam. When the owner wanted to sell the mill for demolition, residents tried to stop this. Unfortunately, in 1942 the mill was demolished. But before the it was demolished, it was measured in detail. With the help of drawings and modern computer techniques, the mill could be rebuild. After years of preparation, they started rebuilding it in 2005, and was opened in 2007.
The mill is accessible for people who use wheelchairs. You can see how the mill works and saws wood. You can also ask the miller some questions about the mill if you like.
Windmill in Leidschendam
This windmill has had a predecessor, which burned down because of a big fire. The mill was rebuilt around 1792 and modernized around 1940. This time the mill got 4 saw windows and a steam machine. The steam machine did most of the work. Only if the blades of the mill could spin harder than the machine, the force of the wind was used. In 1953 the mill was closed down. Demolition seemed inevitable, but was not implemented. Monument authorities demanded that the demolition should be effected by an official mill maker. Thanks to subsidies by the local authorities, companies and friends the mill got a new life.
The mill is wheelchair accessible and so are the educative center and the saw floor of the mill.
Windmill in Amsterdam
Since 1991 Sloten has its own windmill. The hull of the mill is dated from 1847, originating from Watergraafsmeer has been placed on a brick substructure. This mill is located in the ancient city of Sloten, within close proximity to the city of Amsterdam. The mill is one of the daily opened windmills in the Netherlands. In this mill you can see the techniques of how the mill works and the history of Sloten and Oud Osdorp. A visit to this mill can be combined with a guided tour through Amsterdam.
The mill is wheelchair accessible and there is an elevator available to visit higher floors.
We offer several tours to windmills like these, click on one of the links below to take a look. At most of the windmills we can ask a miller to provide a guided tour inside the mill.