Flour windmills, dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, are still a significant feature of the landscape of the Balearic Islands, and are a strong symbol of prosperity and engineering acumen, particularly in Mallorca. Originally numbering around 900, close to 200 windmills have been lost, and many that survive are in a state of disrepair, missing conical towers and other essential elements. Wind erosion, in addition to poor maintenance, neglect, and vandalism, has been the main causes of the windmills’ deterioration.
1998 World Monuments Watch
To highlight the deterioration of these iconic structures, the windmills were placed on the 1998 Watch. Many of the windmills are privately owned, making it difficult to carry out a uniform restoration project for all the windmills. However, various groups have made efforts to restore more than 30 windmills. These groups include the local government, the Insular Council of Mallorca, and the Association of Friends of the Mills of Mallorca. The project accomplishments include restoring the façades and interior floors of the Molí d’en Garleta windmill, as well as reinforcing the interior and adding a concrete crown that will bear the weight of the machinery and the arms of the windmill. Visitor facilities were created to encourage tourism and greater appreciation of the windmills as a special feature of the cultural landscape.
The windmills are an extraordinary presence on the Balearic Islands and they representan important part of the area’s history as part of the urban and rural landscape. Thewindmills are one of the most symbolic features on the islands and are responsible for a large part of the tourism in Mallorca and the other islands.