Formentera’s landscape would not be the same without its mills; these architectural elements tell an important part of the island’s history, essential as they were for the life and subsistence of the inhabitants in the past.
There is so much more to our beloved island Formentera than lighthouses!
The history of the mills of Formentera
The mills and their presence in Formentera tell us what the population’s basic food product was: wheat, the cereal used to make bread. The mills we now enjoy sightseeing were necessary to grind the wheat into flour.
They were called blood mills, since they used animals to drive the grinding wheel. The oldest ones to be small, near the house; later on, in the eighteenth century bigger mills that used wind to move the wheel were built; these mills also permitted greater production.
Visit the mills of Formentera
There were seven windmills used to grind the grain, all with the same mechanism and the same type of construction built around a cylindrical tower, six blades and a conical roof, all divided into three floors: the upper one where the gears were located, the central one where the flour was obtained and the ground floor that was used as a warehouse.
Today we can enjoy six of those seven mills, since the Molí d’en Simon in Es Cap de Barbaria disappeared:
In La Mola we find the Molí Vell and the Molí d’en Botigues, near Sant Ferran we can see the Molí d’en Teuet and the Molí de ses Roques and to the west of the church of Sant Francesc we have the Molí d’en Mateu and the Molí d’en Jeroni.
If you don’t have time to see them all and you have to choose only one, we recommend the Molí Vell, which means old mill; built in 1778, it is one of the last mills on the island to be in use; and the best preserved one. It’s interior has been restored and it is possible to visit it at certain times of the year to see how it works.