The Windmills Of Iran That Are Over 1,000 Years Old

Emily Hirsch | May 8th, 2019

It always fills our hearts with joy and happiness to see architecture and human feats of engineering standing the tests of time. Buildings that are standing after centuries become immense tourist attractions, with people coming to visit them from all over the world. It is what is called a complete success.

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In the town of Nashtifan, the world’s oldest windmills still stand tall and strong today and operate with a vigor that is not seen elsewhere. Throughout history, people have documented windmills that have operated successfully for several centuries. Engineering marvels that have run for years, grounding stones and turning grain into flour. We find windmills made of wood, clay and stray all over the world.

Located in Iran, the windmills of Nashtifan can withstand winds up to 74 miles per hour and were originally called Nish Toofan which in Urdu means storm’s sing. Historians believe that these windmills were designed in eastern Persia during the period of 500 to 900 A.D.

That would mean these windmills have been successfully operating for over 1000 years. As a result, they are part of Iran’s Cultural Heritage Department and were designed not only to be a huge source of energy. They also protected the village from devastating winds. There is even a protector of this ancient construction, which is one of the reasons why they are still standing strong and true today.

The people who lived in this region had to figure out how to deal with fast winds that blew in the area, which could easily destroy a village. As a result, these 65-foot tall windmills were set up and helped the locals ground grains to flour for thousands of years.

There were hundreds of these windmills at one point but only the one located in Nashtifan are still actually in operating condition. The sad part is their caretaker and operator, has no family or helpers to take over after his death. And the locals seem no longer interested in keeping this famous windmill up and running, so that means the structure will most likely have to be dismantled once the last caretaker dies.

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