Preloader - Grutas de Mira de Aire

At the place where the natural entrance of the cave was found, there were at times windmills that we know very little about. In 1947 when the caves were discovered the site was already known as Old Windmills due to the advance stage of degradation presented by these. Today it isn’t without satisfaction that we can show a totally recovered windmill, all the gears inside are working and the evolution of the grounding of cereal into flour can be seen.

The history of windmills dates back to when man sought to grind cereals to its own food. Firstly he would crush cereal between two rocks until the mortar and pestle were invented. The first improvement was to employ a device able to move to rocks larger than those that man could manually operate. During the biblical and Greek heroic ages, two small cylindrical over lapsed hard millstones were operated by slaves and other women. After their conquests in Asia, Romans began to use mills through the force of slaves and convicts and later the force of beasts. The use of animals of burden was a significant progress in the process, however only after the abolition of slavery by Constantine were invented the windmill and watermill.

The windmill is as old as the watermill since they both date from the IVth Century. At the peninsula, believing some writers, windmills were brought by the crusaders during the XIth century. In Portugal there are few windmills still working, so don’t miss this gem.