Panorama of the Week: Venetian Windmills on Crete

Windmills are a symbol of clean energy today, but wind power is not especially new technology on the Greek island of Crete. In the late 15th century, the occupying Venetians began to use windmills on the edge of Crete’s hillsides to grind wheat. To better catch the wind, they attached fabric-like sails on the blades.

Today, after over 500 years of facing the elements, the sails are gone and the windmills that remain do so in various stages of disuse. In spite of all that, amidst the breeze, it’s possible to imagine the two dozen windmills on the edge of the Lassithi Plateau in Seli Ampelou helping to churn out kilos of ground wheat.

For a glimpse of the windmills and some classic Cretan landscape, open the panorama below.

360-Degree Panorama: Venetian Windmills on Crete

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Disclosure: Our trip to Crete is supported by Visit Greece. Most but not all expenses have been paid for. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

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  1. Sutapa Chattopadhyay says

    Wow, I sure can imagine two dozen windmills even though the sails are gone! Beautiful. I am running out of superlatives!

  2. Rose says

    Crete is a perfect destination for everybody, because this place can offer everything for all kind of taste and demands!

  3. says

    @Henry: These windmills were used for grinding grain, while there are other ones used in the fields for water power. These days, the hills are covered with modern windmills used to generate electrical power.

    @Sutapa: When the guide first said we would see some Venetian windmills, it didn’t sound so interesting. But then when we got there we loved it – like you, we could imagine the sails and all of them rotating away in full power. Also love the technology 😉

    @Dean: Yes, these windmills did have quite a view of the hills and sea.

    @Rose: Many people come to Crete for the beach, but there’s so much more to see and do on the island. And, the food is amazing.

  4. says

    @Azeem: Crete in general is definitely worth a visit. It’s one of those places that we appreciate all the more as we reflect on our experiences there. As for the Venetian windmills, they are worth a side visit if you find yourself on the eastern side of the island visiting the Lassithi Plain and and Psychro Cave (or the Diktaean Cave) where some claim Zeus was born.

    As for the panoramas, we use Autopano Giga to stitch a continuous series of shots taken with an 8mm ultra-wide angle lens.

  5. says

    Nice panorama, such a rocky island. The people from Crete should definitely reconstruct the windmills (maybe also use them for a power). But even without them it is nice sight.


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