Hundreds or perhaps thousands of times when cycling I saw windmills, one of those cultural icons of the Netherlands, my homeland. I hear you thinking, no, I was not wearing clogs, but I did pass tulip fields and green meadows populated by pedigree cattle along the way.
History of the mill
Anyway back to ‘my’ mill, this symbol of Dutchness, which stands proudly in the province of Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands. Until now I had never devoted more than a few seconds of my attention to this corn mill. Unjustified, because this building is a beautiful representation of a traditional Dutch farming community.
Luck has it that the sun is shining and I happen to have a camera on me, an ideal moment to take some pictures. Furthermore, the miller is on site. He is happy to show me around, whilst he is preparing for a school visit later that day.
The mill has been around for more than a hundred years, the construction started in 1899 and the mill was commissioned in 1900 AD. The initiative to build the mill came from the local farming community. It was built notwithstanding objections of the municipality. Despite the disapproval of the local authorities, the mill turned out to be so profitable that the township could pay for their own church, school and rectory from the proceeds.
Eventually, modern milling methods came into vogue, the mill was put on hold from 1960 to 1976 and fell slowly into disrepair. The doors were closed until the Municipality took over the property and restored it to its former glory.
Today the mill is managed by volunteers. When there is sufficient wind they put the mill into production. Moreover, they ensure maintenance is kept up to date. In cooperation with schools and interest groups, the association is developing a knowledge centre on site.
Crops planted around the mill include corn, rye, wheat, spelt and buckwheat. Visitors can buy freshly ground flour of their choice at the end of their visit.
Furthermore, the volunteers are constructing a traditional bakery. The edifice, built with old stones will have an original wood-burning oven. Thus one can see the whole process from grain to bread.
Future plans include a small bikers café, to enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of traditional Limburg pie or pancake.
Visit the mill
The mill can be visited on Saturdays between 13:30 -17:00 hours, by appointment or when the blue flag is raised.
Before you visit, think about the stairs to the various floors, these are steep and narrow. I suggest you adjust your footwear accordingly, so no flip flops or high heels.
Address Schadijkerweg 36, 5964 NB Meterik
Phone 077-3982611 (Thijs van Rens)
Pray look better, Sir… those things yonder are no giants, but windmills.
– Miguel de Cervantes –
The Tourist Office is located in the municipality Horst aan de Maas:
VVV Horst aan de Maas
Address: Steenstraat 2, 5961 EV Horst, Tel.: 077-3988091.
Opening hours are Tuesday – Saturdays from 10.00 – 17.00 hrs. (Saturday 16.00 hrs). Unfortunately and to my embarrassment, the website is in Dutch only.
Hof van Meterik is a rural B&B, a short distance away from the mill.
Parkhotel Horst is a 4-star full-service accommodation, located in a forest. Most rooms have a view over the lake.
To stay in traditional style book the Staatsie 1866, this B&B is located at the train station of Horst-Sevenum in the former station building and offers a tour desk.