The “Windotter” is the largest working corn mill in in the Netherlands processing thousand kilos of corn a day. Just a daytrip away form Amsterdam.
Windotter in IJsselstein: here you can see the working of a windmill
“The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine”, they say. Well, in the beginning of the last century the Windotter in IJsselstein came to an halt. It stood there idle and sad. Blades missing. Repairing the mill took a lot of time. But, since 1987, the Windotter is back in its full glory. I approach the mill. The blades are so impressive, so powerful and dangerous.
You must see the Windotter. The most beautiful windmill near Utrecht? Maybe. The hospitable miller will invite you to enter the mill. He will allow you to climb to the top. Come on. You go up the ladders and in the meantime the miller operates the millstones. Oversees the grinding process. While the miller mixes the corn you explore the inside of the mill. You get covered with flour. Accompanied by the rattling of the mill wheels you climb to the top where the mill stretches its arms to touch the sky. Over and over again.
Well, IJsselstein is the only place in Holland where you can study the grinding process, the working of a windmill so precisely. It is awesome but be careful.
In the Windotter IJsselstein you can see the working of a windmill.
The mill was built in 1732. It is a stone smock mill. The windmill blades measure 26 meters. In the 18th century the farmers in the surroundings of IJsselstein were obliged to grind their corn at this mill. Since its restauration in 1987 a professional miller oversees the grinding process. The mill is in operation for 5 days a week. And that is the best time for a visit. Then you can see what grinding corn in a windmill is all about. All the wheels in the mill are turning. And your clothes will get covered with flour.
In the mill shop you buy high quality Dutch products. This smock mill produces e.g. Waldkornmix the millers mix of flour with which I have baked my bread since I have a backing machine.
Near the Windotter is the Castle Tower of IJsselstein
Once upon a time the Dutch King owned an impressive polygonal castle in IJsselstein. Here the conflicts between the Counts of Holland and the Bishop of Utrecht were settled. Here Lady Bertha withstood a year long siege with only 16 soldiers under her command.
In the 19th century the Castle IJsselstein was sold for demolition. Nowadays only the Castle Tower remains. Here was a prison with three cells. Presently you can rent the tower for a meeting or a childrens party. At the IJsselstein museum you can buy a ticket for a visit. And sometimes there is a theater performance in the tower.
Things to do in IJsselstein, Utrecht.
- Taste cookies from the bakery at the the “Windotter”, the largest corn mill of the Netherlands.
- Go to the Museum of IJsselstein and book a tour by boat through the city or make a city walk with an audio tour.
- Visit the Castle Tower and get to know the magnificent history of this place. Do you want to see real castles around IJsselstein? Then Haarzuilens is the place to go.
- Make a trip to the orchards around IJsselstein and eat fresh cherries at the farm, e.g. at “De Fruitwaard” Oudeslootseweg 3, 3411 MP Jaarsveld.