Picture: Schellemill at the Damse Vaart in Damme.  

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Location: Damse Vaart West, 8340 Damme [gps]
Accessibility: accessible [opening hours: see Tourism Office]

You can't miss the windmill of Damme.  He stands proudly above his direct environment besides the Damse Vaart on one of the most picturesque spots in the area.  This makes that it is one of the most photographed windmills in the world.  

Since the foundation of the town of Damme, there has been a mill on this spot.  This mill was property of the count of Flanders; in 1267 the rights on it were sold to the town by countess Margareta of Constantinopel.  Half of the revenues however still had to be given to the counts.  

The current mill was built in 1867 and was in use until 1963.  In 1971 it was bought by the province of West-Flanders and restored between 1975 and 1977.  The mill is a protected monument since 1975 and since its restoration the wings are again turning in the wind. 

Curiosity: watch the weathervane!  It's a mermaid.  She refers to the legend of mermaid Cassandra who was captured by fishermen from Damme. You can find her on numerous windmills in the Zwin area.

This mill is open for the public.  Wheelchair users can visit the ground-floor. 

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© Hendrik De Leyn - www.damme-online.com

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