Ветряные мельницы

Голландский пейзаж невозможно представить без ветряных мельниц. Они встречаются как на фермерских полях, так и в самих селах и даже в городах. Есть ветряные мельницы и на окраинах Амстердама.

Историки до сих пор не пришли к единому мнению по поводу того, как ветряные мельницы попали на берега Северного моря. В VII в. ветряные мельницы привезли в Испанию из Персии или Китая. Через 200 лет они появились в Англии и во Фландрии. Предполагают, что распространение ветряных мельниц происходило во время крестовых походов.

Голландские мельницы использовались для измельчения древесины, перемалывания зерна, отжима масла, растирания пряностей и нюхательного табака. Но самым главным стало изобретение голландского механика Яна Адрианзона по прозвищу Легватер, который подсоединил к мельнице длинный архимедов винт, вращающийся в цилиндрическом желобе. В результате он получил мощный насос, который стали использовать для осушения болот.

Ветряная мельница

Это изобретение было настолько важным в жизни страны, что во всех картинных галереях Нидерландов присутствует портрет Адрианзона. На всех полотнах он изображен в холщовом рубище, с гладкими волосами, разделенными прямым пробором, с худым, резко очерченным лицом, усами и козлиной бородкой. Как уже говорилось, по методике Легватера было осушено и превращено в плодородные земли 27 болот и озер.

Конструкция ветряной мельницы была очень простой: четыре лопасти восьмиметровой длины укреплены на одном конце лопастного вала, другой его конец держит цевочную шестерню. На другой, вертикальный, вал посажено еще одно колесо с просветами, в которые западают массивные вращающиеся пальцы. Вертикальный вал называли веретеном и делали из железа.

Если мельница предназначалась для помола зерна или пряностей, нижняя часть веретена входила в подшипник верхней, вращающейся, части. Мельницы, которые использовали для осушения почвы, вращали архимедов винт.

Конструкция мельниц, ставших историческими памятниками, более совершенна. Это в основном каменные сооружения в виде усеченной башни, высота которых составляет 9–15 м.

В XIX в. мельниц в Нидерландах насчитывалось 10 тыс., после Первой мировой войны их осталось 2,5 тыс., а в настоящее время в Голландии немногим более 900 мельниц.

Со времени своего появления на протяжении целого столетия ветряные мельницы были безымянными. В 1693 г. был издан закон, согласно которому у каждой мельницы должно быть имя. Так появились «Серый гусь», «Сокол», «Толстяк», «Железный кабан», «Кошка», «Слепой осел», «Забулдыга», «Тюлень», «Будущее», «Надежда», «Отцовское благословение» и другие.

На некоторых ветряных мельницах до сих пор перемалывают пряности и зерно, а другие превратились в объекты отдыха. В Голландии при Государственном управлении по охране памятников учрежден отдел ветряных мельниц.

Правительство ежегодно выделяет 40 млн евро на охрану исторических памятников. Из этой суммы почти 1 млн идет на поддержание в рабочем состоянии ветряных мельниц. Кроме этого, в 1920 х гг. было создано Голландское общество ветряных мельниц, членами которого являются 7 тыс. энтузиастов, опекающих более 500 мельниц.

В конце XX в. государство запретило продажу ветряных мельниц в частное владение и взяло все мельницы под охрану. Интерьер тех мельниц, которые до сих пор остаются в частных руках, почти всегда требует капитального ремонта и реставрации. В Голландии постоянно пополняется штат добровольных мельников, которые проходят специальную подготовку, а затем в свои выходные дни работают на расположенных вблизи мельницах. Таких специалистов в стране уже более 600. Голландцы считают, что мельницы должны работать, так как без работы они ветшают и выходят из строя, так же как часы или корабли. Именно поэтому ширятся ряды молодых мельников, которые с большим энтузиазмом относятся к своей общественной работе и делают все для сохранения в рабочем состоянии своих «ветряков».

Правительство Нидерландов не разрешает вывозить ветряные мельницы за границу. Даже иностранные специалисты, которые изучают конструкции мельниц с тем, чтобы построить в своей стране новые мельницы, должны внести определенную сумму в нидерландский фонд охраны памятников.

В Нидерландах существует несколько электростанций, работающих за счет силы ветра. Это государственный резерв на случай сбоев в энергетической системе страны. Ветряные мельницы называют еще и союзниками голландцев в их нелегкой борьбе с морем, ведь если в течение всего одних суток не выкачивать воду из осушительных каналов, восьмая часть Голландии окажется под водой.



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