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