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  • Aixerrota

Aixerrota

The only example of a windmill from its time still standing and it is preserved in Getxo. Its construction took place between 1726 and 1727 as a result of a drought in the early eighteenth century that affected the Lordship.

Aixerrota mill is a windmill located on the cliffs of La Galea in Santa María de Getxo, in the municipality of Getxo. The origin of the name is none other than the Basque word for windmill ("aixe" (haizea) means wind and "errota" means mill).

Windmill in Getxo

 

The mill was built in 1727 as a result of a long drought in the early eighteenth century that affected the Lordship of Biscay. Apparently the Irishman Edward OShea, who had fled his country to escape religious persecution, built a mill that instead of using water used the wind to grind wheat. Once the drought was over, traditional windmills were once again used to grind the grain and over the years Aixerrota mill ceased to be used for this purpose. The end of that drought resulted in windmills such as the one in Getxo being dismantled and used exclusively as housing, no longer doing any grinding. That means that there are very few architectural examples of this type in the province and even in the autonomous region. Aixerrota shares the honours with similar mills located in Artxanda, Ispaster and Larrigán.

Aixerrota mill is at a point where strong winds blow from the North-east, necessary for the blades to move the stones used for the grinding.

The architecture of the mill has little to do with the typical windmills of La Mancha. While the mills of La Mancha are cylindrical in shape those in Biscay generally have a truncated cone shape. Aixerrota mill is mainly made out of masonry, and "belongs to the type of tower, with a horizontal axis, which used to have a rotating cover that could be manipulated from the outside."

Currently, as a result of the refurbishment that took place in the late twentieth century, the mill houses an art gallery and, in the annexe, a restaurant.

  • Mybilbaobizkaia
  • Aixerrota