Beginning in the years of Venetian rule, windmills were created and operated in many parts of the island of Corfu.
One of them was the impressive and beautiful windmill that one encounters as if touring the end of Garitsa, in the homonymous area Anemomylos.
The spectacle that one sees today, is nothing but an imitation of the windmill that existed in the same place, in the past.
The windmill, which once served the needs of the inhabitants for grain, today adorns the homonymous area at the bay of Garitsa, just a few meters from the city center of Corfu.
References to the windmill
There are many books that describe historical facts about the life on the island of Corfu. The areas of Paleopolis, the oldest suburb of the city, what we know as Garitsa bay but also areas such as the Kanoni, stand out for their importance and many of the events that happened and were recorded in many historical books.
One example of this has been recorded in the black pages of history is the according “This time the bombs hit the suburb Anemomylos with human casualties and damage,” they said at the time, referring to the bloody bombings by the Italians and then the Germans against the non fortified city of Corfu from November ’40 to April ’41.
Of course, the references to the wider area of Anemomylos also exist in documents and maps that date back to the 17th century.
The mill or “Molino” as it has been recorded, stood out from the other windmills for its location, height and the fact that it was visible at a great distance from both land and sea.
However, the building at that time was abandoned and over the years, despite the reactions of the residents, it was completely deserted. Nevertheless, this event was the inspiration behind a well-known poem given to us by the great Ionian poet Lorentzos Mavilis, who wrote the following.
The world is a planetary magnate
Embroidered with wheel and shaft,
With suns and stars, that Maya is the simplest
Above the Truth the darkness.―
We loved you so much, desolate waste,
Because in the middle of life the magic
In our soul you reveal the saint
Death shield, the cold Hell,
Nothing, and I knew the depths
You are waking us up with a longing
To get rid of all our passions,
To exorcise the bitter curse
Of life, and to enter at once
In the sanctuaries of divine non-existence.
Lorentzos Mavilis 1895
The rebuilt of the windmill and its current image
In 1998, after years of abandonment of the old windmill, located at approximately at the same point, from the Corfu Port Fund started the rebuilt of an identical mill .
Its emblematic image stands out in the area and retains the form that the map of the island had in the past, in a new version that continues to remind us of the history of centuries and to connect us with our traditions and the buildings that made this seaside suburban worth mentioning.
The windmill and the wider area are ideal for walking, all seasons, while in summer it is full of people of all ages swimming and enjoying the magnificed view of the most beautiful parts of the island.
At the area you will find a lot of restaurants, cafes and bars, while it is worth visiting and exploring the Mon Repos. Be prepared to discover all the interesting details about the area that used to be called Palaiopolis, and was the main city of Corfu in the past.
Kostas and Eleni Ourani Foundation (1990) The poems
Lorentzos Mavilis The works of Lorentzos Mavilis (1922) Windmill
Athanasinas George A. (1943) History from the archives of the War. p.75
Sourtzinos, C. George (2008) “Toponyms linguistic testimonies in the historical route of Corfu” pp.38-39