Rijn en Lek Windmill - Atlas Obscura

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Rijn en Lek Windmill

Wijk bij Duurstede, Netherlands

This may be the world's only drive-through windmill. 


In the city of Wijk bij Duurstede in the Netherlands, you can find what is perhaps the world’s only drive-through windmill.

It was built in the late 17th century, after Anthony van Eyndhoven submitted a request to build a windmill on one of the town gates. Rather than wheat, the mill was used to grind tree bark that could be used in the leather tanning process. Van Eyndhoven also bought the house next to the mill, and for the next several centuries, it would house the people who owned and maintained the mill.

In the 1920s, Rijn en Lek was purchased by De Vereniging de Hollandsche Molen (the Dutch Mill Society). With the rise of industrialization, the need for the mill’s grinding abilities had faded. But the society wanted to preserve the history that came along with the building.

Rijn en Lek is often confused with the windmill depicted in a 17th-century painting by Jacob van Ruisdael, titled Windmill of Wijk bij DuurstedeThe structure seen in the painting was torn down around 1820, though some of its foundations remain.

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August 25, 2023

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