It looks like children paint mills and yet it is a technical masterpiece. The Bockwindmühle in Altensien was rebuilt according to a historical model and is a great destination for an excursion in the Sellin hill country. In summer there are regular afternoons arranged by the Kurverwaltung and an exhibition conveys the history of mills on Rügen.
Those who could turn grain into corn had power and prosperity. Under the rule of the princes of Putbus, the small farmers were obliged to grind their grain at the local miller’s – and he received his share in return. If there were disputes in the „Rügen miller’s office“, an independent arbitrator ensured order. Tons of beer and pounds of beef were consumed at the so-called „Morgensprachen“, as old rations lists prove.
Even around 1900, people on Rügen were still grinding in more than 200 Dutch mills and variously sized Bockwindmühlen. Farmer Schälke owned the mill in Altensien. The last master mill builder in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania built today’s Bockwindmühle based on this mill. In addition to the wooden mill, which is occasionally put into operation, an exhibition in the tool shed presents the history of mills in the southeast of the island of Rügen.
The angular mill house of the Bockwindmühle in Altensien sits on a wooden trestle, there are four wings on top and a long lever on the side with which the whole mill can be turned into the wind. Its simple construction was an early marvel of engineering that had more influence on the cultural history of the island of Rügen than one would like to believe, and through the history of the mill one can learn how people used to interact with each other.
Take a break!
At the wonderful Bockwindmühle in the Sellin district Altensien. A small exhibition in the house at the edge of the field tells something about the history of mills in Western Pomerania, a bench in the sun invites you to take a breather.
From June to September, there is always the „perfect cyclists‘ rest“ here on Wednesdays from 12 to 4 p.m., with coffee and cake and lard sandwiches, insider tips and a lecture about the mill and the village.