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Although the Netherlands is known for its classic and picturesque windmills, the Herkules windmill was bit different from its earlier Dutch contemporaries. What makes this windmill so different is that it’s considered an American wind engine or roosmolen. The successor to classic Dutch windmills and watermills.
During the early 1920s, these specific windmills were very popular across the country. They were utilized to keep land dry and pump water out of the low lying farmlands. Around the same time, electric pumping stations started becoming more popular and roosmolen mills became obsolete. Although their popularity was short-lived, around 200 were constructed around the country before falling into obscurity.
The Herkules is no longer in use and was also replaced by a mechanical pump, but since it was loved by the people living nearby, a small campaign made sure the mill wasn’t destroyed.
Nowadays, the mill can be seen in the distance from the Zaanse Schans, but if you’re visiting the windmills there you might as well go off the beaten track and take in the Herkules. You can get close to the mill via the walking/cycling path on the west side of the nearby canal or have a quick look from the road on the eastside.