Windmill, Łowkowice
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
photo

The windmill in Łowkowice is the only well-preserved tower mill structure in Opole Silesia.

History

Wind-propelled mills are divided into post mills (Pol. “koźlak”), whose whole body rotates on a wooden structure, paltroks (Pol. “paltrak”), whose body rotates on a circular rail, and tower mills (Pol. “holender”) originating from the Netherlands in which only the top part of the structure (so-called “smock”) rotates together with the blades. The last of the named types, the most advanced technically, appeared in the country in the 18th century but never became popular. First tower mills appeared in Opolszczyzna in the mid-19th century. In 1861 there were a total of 260 post mills and only 5 tower mills in the region; in 1931, the figures were 74 and 16, respectively. In the 1960s, nine tower mills were recorded in the area, two of which were in a good condition and had not been converted earlier: in Łowkowice and Gostomia (Biała Commune).

The mill in Łowkowice was built in 1868 as one of the first tower mills in the area. It was owned by a today unknown miller whose initials “H.Ż” can be seen on the metal wind vane on top of the structure. Used until 1936, it was restored and converted into a café in the 1990s.

Description

The windmill sits on an elevation close to the north-west boundary of the village. This brick and plastered structure was erected on the plan of a circle with a diameter of 7.6 m. It is a four-storey building with a basement; it walls rise up to 9.5 m; it is topped with a conical cap formerly covered with shingles and today by tar paper. The roof was originally supported on a wooden, moving wheel which was set in motion by a winch placed on the top level of the building. The ground floor housed three rooms: hall, living room and pantry; the upper levels were filled with the mill equipment. A single-storey outbuilding touched the mill the west.

The windmill gets narrower towards the top; it has four vertical rows of narrow, arched windows. The site has been restored and adapted by a private owner to accommodate catering services.

The monument is available during the opening hours of the coffee shop; it is freely accessible from outside.

Compiled by Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 23-07-2014.

Bibliography

  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, t. VII, z.6, red. T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki,  s. 18.
  • Wesołowska H., Młynarstwo wiejskie Opolszczyzny od XVIII do XX w., Opole 1969.

General information

  • Type: windmill
  • Chronology: 2 poł. XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Wiatrakowa 14, Łowkowice
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district krapkowicki, commune Strzeleczki
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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