Historic Mill at Sanssouci Park
There were once over 40 windmills in Potsdam that supplied the population and garrisons. Only one of them, the Historic Mill at Sanssouci Park, remained standing. As early as 1738, a post mill was put into operation for milling grain. Seven years later, in 1745, King Frederick II had his summer residence built not far from the mill. One could have assumed that the mill's rattling noise bothered the king during his rest, but it was rather the summer palace that took away the wind the mill needed for milling the grain, which obviously obstructed the miller´s work. The king was very fond of the mill and a legend has it that he paid the miller for his lost revenue. Many legends exist around the miller and the king, and it is said that the latter had often come to the defence of the miller. Between 1787 and 1791 the dilapidated post mill was replaced by a new windmill based on a Dutch design. This smock mill was in operation until the year 1858, but eventually decommissioned due to unprofitability. Three years later, in 1861, the mill gained landmark status, but on 27 April 1945 it was destroyed by fire. The mill remained untouched until the early 1980´s, when plans were adopted to rebuild it. The Chamber of Trade decided to establish an artisan museum. Then, in 1993, the mill´s reconstruction was finalised on the occasion of the festivities surrounding Potsdam´s 1000-year existence. It took another 10 years until grains could be milled regularly by using wind power. Since 2007 the mill showcases a new permanent exhibition on its different levels. One part deals with mills in Potsdam´s cultural landscape (ground storey), another one with the artisan mill of the 18th and 19th century (first storey), then there is a part informing about the history of the historic mill (second storey), and, last but not least, on contemporary mills (third storey). The mill machinery can be found above the exhibition, between the fourth and the sixth level. The sixth level contains large gear wheels, which put into motion the millstone on the milling floor and the sifting machine on the meal floor. From the mill's gallery one can overlook parts of Sanssouci Park and Potsdam city. The gallery's actual purpose, however, was such that one could operate the mill's wings. If necessary, one could also turn from here the roof in order to align the wings' cross with the wind and adjust the canvas covering. A little shop in the ground storey offers a range of windmill products, literature and souvenirs.
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