Mill the Lion is a 19th century flour mill in the city of Aalsmeer in Netherlands. The mill is still operating and is one of the many historic mills in Netherlands. The octagon-shaped windmill is referred as De Leeuw (the Lion) by the locals. If you are keen to know about architectural feats of the mid-18th century Dutch people, this mill in the heart of Aalsmeer is a must-visit for you. Whether you are out on a bike trip, exploring the small towns of Netherlands or you have come to Netherlands with your friends and family, this mill will help you understand the purposes that mills in 18th and 19th century Netherlands used to serve.
The mill was built in 1863. Still now, the mill workers grind and mix cereals and make flour. The mill was once owned by one Paul Miller and on 22nd June, 1863, he marked the beginning of nonstop production of flour at the stroke of midnight. The upper shaft is where flour used to be produced. During the inauguration, a funny lucky draw was held. The people in the gathering were asked to guess how many revolutions the milling machine would make and lucky winner was awarded a bread machine. This guessing game remained a part of the tradition for 150 years. During 1994/1995, the mill underwent renovation and what tourists see now is the renovated flour mill popularly referred as Mill the Lion.
The Aalsmeer mill continues to operate as a corn mill and it is still in use. The hull is am 8.30 meter tall robust stone-built foundation that bears a thatched octagonal pine. Classic Dutch blades make the mill closer to those mills you can see on postcards and calendars in appearance. The core mechanism is consisted of 32 iron-made rollers and is driven by a kruihaspel. You can find four artificially built stone structures and an electric brush bump by entering the mill. Visitors are encouraged to climb up to the top of the mill from where you can see the flour making process inside. Also from there, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Aalsmeer. The first renovation of Mill the Lion was performed back in 1959.
If you are choosing a guided tour, the guide will take you to the upper shaft and you can get a complete explanation of how flour used to be made during those days. The mill still produces flour using the bygone tools and technologies. Therefore, visiting Mill De Leeuw can well be a time-travel as well as a history lesson for you. You can actually take part in the grinding and mixing process, which is great fun. When flour is made, buy the end products at great prices.
Lion the Mill remains open on Tuesdays from 1 pm till 4.30 pm and on Saturdays from 1 pm till 6pm. For school students, they offer attractive discounts (Contact Mr. J. Ran tel: 0297 340358 for school group discounts).
Since Lion the Mill is located at the heart of Aalsmeer, it is easily accessible.