The Mallorcan landscape wouldn’t be the same without them. They pepper every corner of the island, and after years of abandonment, the island’s former picture postcard is regaining its splendour. The traditional windmills are getting ready to work again, promoted by the embat and the Consell de Mallorca (Mallorca’s autonomous government), whose efforts are about to make their sails turn again. After decades of neglect, the island’s government is carrying out an ambitious rehabilitation project to return them to their former glory.
The initiative comprises different actions that for the moment have materialised in the restoration of several of these traditional elements. Other specific projects will be rolled out following this major intervention. In fact, there is already an aid scheme in place for owners of Pla de Sant Jordi (Palma) where over a thousand windmills used for extracting groundwater are concentrated in a surface area covering 55 Km2.
The objective of this venture is to foster restoration and the subsequent maximisation of windmills, respecting their type and encouraging the use of traditional techniques and materials. The Consell de Mallorca shall take full responsibility for restoring the towers, tanks and mechanisms. In exchange the owners will permit visits to the windmills. In total, over €1,000,000 is to be invested, obtained from own funds of which €250,000 has been granted by the Government from Sustainable Tourism Tax. It is a significant action that aims to recover the limelight for one of the island’s most representative patrimonial assets.
Sponsor a windmill
El Consell de Mallorca would like to involve all Mallorca’s citizens in helping to recover the windmills. To this end, it has launched an awareness-raising campaign, to add value to these unique buildings. Each campaign aims to involve the public through a sponsorship programme. The campaign “apadrina un molí” (sponsor a windmill) will permit companies and private individuals to contribute towards their refurbishment. Even the Spanish Royal Family has shown a keen interest in collaborating.
Preserving industrial heritage
The ambitious plan from the Consell, led by Miquel Ensenyat, will also be focussing on restoring the island’s historical-industrial heritage. The idea is to promote the restoration and subsequent commissioning of the island’s historical-industrial elements. The Consell will take charge of preparing the technical restoration project and provide the manpower for carrying out the projects. It is a twofold scheme; the architectural restoration of a series of elements forming part of the historical-industrial heritage (windmills, waterwheels, tafones (oil producing structures) and wineries), as well as the extraction industry (salt works). Secondly, the restoration of machines, carriages and other artefacts related to industry or agriculture.
In a similar vein, a few months ago the Consell de Mallorca launched a defence tower conservation programme. The prime objective of this action is to preserve the former lookout towers strategically dotted along Mallorca’s coastline and similarly, to perfect the protection procedures in line with the Balearic Islands Cultural Heritage Law, which classifies them as Historical Interest Sites.