Where are the French mills of Menorca?
Have you ever seen a windmill? Do you know how the millers worked? Today we are going to visit Sant Lluís, the town of Menorca founded by the French more than 200 years ago. Cuqui is ready to accompany me on this trip.
The fleet of French ships landed in Ciutadella
Twelve thousand French soldiers arrived with their boats to Ciutadella and then went to Mahon, conquering Menorca, which until then was a British island. They settled in an area of orchards where they built a church and began to create a new town in honor of Saint Louis IX, King of France.
Although they could not see it finished because they only governed Menorca for 7 years (1756-1763) there are still streets that bear the names of some of the French officers such as Hyacinthe Gaétan de Lannion who was general of the Royal Armies and Governor of Menorca.
A mill greets us
I'm thinking about all this things as we approach Sant Lluís.
"Look Kiko, It is possible to see the blades of a mill from here, can we go and see it?" Cuqui asks me.
"Sure, it's one of the scheduled visits for this trip. Do you know that in Sant Lluís there were 3 windmills in which the cereals were milled to make flour? The one above (from Dalt), the one from the middle (Enmig) and the one below (from Baix). It will be funny to meet them, "I reply.
How is flour made with the wind?
The first mill has a blue and white stripes cone. It was built by the French 250 years ago and it is now about 50 years it lost its blades.
The mills of Sant Lluís have been part of Menorca’s landscape for a long time so it was decided to rebuild the Molí de Dalt, conserving its wooden machinery and the gear that made it work.
The wind moved the sails, provided with candles, which gave enough force to turn the stone wheel that turned the grain of the cereals into a fine powder, the flour.
Tools of some crafts of Menorca
The ground floor of the mill is now an Ethnological Museum. We see many tools that were formerly used in the field works such as cars, plows, sickles for mowing and ceramic pieces too.
They are memories of a way of life and some trades that have already disappeared. Lime kilns are no longer made, do you remember that we saw the remains of one when we went to Cala Mitjana ? although the houses are still whitewashed, getting a bright white color.
From the top floor we can see all Sant Lluís village. The other two mills, Enmig without blades, and the Binifadet Tower which is very close to here.
A medieval tower
When the French arrived they founded this town at the lands of Binifadet. This tower was built more than 500 years ago, in the Middle Ages. It has a height of about 10 meters and is now integrated between the houses.
The Tower of Binifadet was surveillance and from there they controlled that the pirates that arrived at Menorca did not approach Sant Lluís.
An Austrian spy in Menorca?
We walk through the streets of the town. Some houses attract us with a nice front garden and a classic and elegant architecture. In a house of Sant Lluís lived the Archduke Luis Salvador of Austria. He was an aristocrat who traveled a lot through the Mediterranean and some people say he was a spy of the Emperor of Austria to whom he informed of the lands he could conquer.
What is Tetragrammaton?
Cuqui convinces me to sit in a nice square near the church. We rest and eat the sandwich we have brought.
"This church was built by the French and its bell tower is more than 30 meters high," Cuqui tells me.
"The most curious thing is that the Tetragrammaton is written on top of the bells. It is considered a magic sign. For some people it is the name of Mother Earth, for others it is a symbol that drives the demons away. They say it's the name of God in the Hebrew language, "I tell him.
How did they get water in Menorca?
We could not miss going to see the Pou of Torn, a well where the inhabitants of Sant Lluís used to draw water. It works with two pulleys that are wound on a winch that is driven by a donkey or a horse.
There are no wells of this type in the other Balearic island so it is supposed to be an own system of Menorca with which they supplied the neighbors orchards and houses.
"It has been a very entertaining excursion. Sant Lluís is a small town but it has many things to see. The coast is also very beautiful, "Cuqui tells me.
"Yes, we were in Binibeca recently. In the fishing village and on the beach. If it were summer we could go swimming" I said him.
But it's winter and Sant Lluís looks beautiful with its Christmas lights. We have to return to the Kikoland Club but we want to wish MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you and wishing that 2018 will be a great year. Will you come to visit us? We wait for you.
From Son Bou to Sant Lluís there are 23.4 km. When you go to the main road you take the direction to Mahón and there you will easily see the signs to get to Sant Lluís.
No direct public transport, you would have to take several buses so we recommend you to rent a vehicle to go to Sant Lluís.
In the Molí de Dalt, at the beginning of the town, in addition to the Ethnological Museum, there is the Tourist Information Office where you can find out about the best places to visit.
The timetable of Molí de Dalt is throughout the year from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm. On Sundays it is closed. In the months of July, August and September it is also open in the afternoon, except on Wednesdays, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
The price of the visit to the Ethnological Museum is free until 12 years old. Young people from 12 to 18 years old and pensioners have a fee of € 0.60 and the rest of € 1.20. To see changes in prices and schedules you can call 971 15 10 84