Saturday, May 21, 2016

Going north: a visit to the windmill in Rekum, Bremen, Germany

Rekumer Mühle: horizontal windshaft carrying four sails
Traditional windmills (Windmühlen) and drainage canals (Fleete) in and around the city of Bremen in northern Germany are a reminder that the Netherlands are not very far away. The windmill in downtown Bremen is a landmark. Every visitor who walked the short distance between the central train station and the historic inner city (Innenstadt) has seen it. Bremen has another windmill, also in a beautiful setting: the windmill in Rekum (Rekumer Mühle), which is over 35 km away from Bremen's center. It is rarely visited, but certainly worth it. A Rekum windmill side trip may be combined with a visit to the Valentin submarine factory remembrance site.

Rekumer Mühle, a windmill of the Wallholländer type
The Rekum windmill is located in the Rekumer Geest, a hilly landscape making up the northern tip of  Bremen and continuing on into Lower Saxony. The windmill is located on one of those windy hills. To increase the wind exposure, the mill was built onto an artificial mound (earth wall). This mill type is called a Wallholländer or Bergholländer, literally meaning wall-Dutch (type) or hill-Dutch (type), respectively. The mill building has an octagonal foundation. It features four sails consisting of a lattice framework, over which sailcloth were spread. Like the surrounding farm houses, the mill top is thatch-roofed.

The Rekum mill was built in 1873. A severe storm in 1962 destroyed its top parts. Thereafter, the mill was stepwise restored and is now a designated historic-cultural monument [1].

Getting to the Rekumer Mühle from the Bunker Valentin

Framework-structured house next to the Rekumer Mühle
From the “Annihilation through worksculpture at the northeast corner of Bunker Valentin, walk eastbound along the street called Rekumer Siel and turn right on Rekumer Straße. Follow this road for about 10 minutes, turn right on Hospitalstraße and continue on this street for less than ten minutes until you get to the Y-junction, at which the inclining road An der Rekumer Mühle leads you uphill to the site of the mill, on the left side of the road. Yes, it has a street address: An der Rekumer Mühle 12 [2].

References and more to explore
[1] Wikipedia:  Rekumer Mühle [].
[2] Freie Hansestadt Bremen - Landesamt für Denkmalpflege: Rekumer Mühle [].

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