What’s Happening at the Montefiore Windmill? – BITE SIZE

January 22, 2019
By: Joanna Shebson

Have you seen the newly renovated windmill in Yemin Moshe in action? We went Behind the Scenes of the Montefiore Windmill to hear all about the work that went into renovating it and how it is being used today.

This podcast interview with Yuval Klein was originally recorded for BITE SIZE with Yoni Pollak.

Listen to the Interview – 

About the Windmill Complex

We sat down with Yuval Klein, one of the owners of Zuzu Tourism about the renovation of this national landmark and the transformation of the complex into a thriving center for tourism.

The Montefiore Windmill, built in the first neighborhood (Mishkenot Sheananim) outside the Old City Walls, is a Jewish and National Monument, representing the growth of the city of Jerusalem. Moses Montefiore wanted to show the people living in the Old City at the time, that there was an opportunity for industry outside the Old City Walls.

The windmill took one year to build in 1857 & brought along with it the potential to grind flour.

When the Jerusalem Foundation decided to renovate the windmill, they hired a company from the Netherlands who were experts in windmill restorations. They also chose Zuzu Tourism to revive the area with tourism.

The Renovation

To renovate the windmill all of the mechanics inside had to be completely rebuilt. The dark grey wings were replaced with large white ones with new shutters. The Dutch experts flew out to give Yuval and his assistants a hands on lesson in using the wind to generate power to grind flour again.

Today the windmill is working exactly the way it worked in the 19th century! There is no switch that turns the windmill on, but rather it is completely powered by the wind – just as it was when it was built!

Today – the windmill grinds flour again!

For the first time in 150 years, under Yuval’s guidance, the windmill was used to grind special bags of flour. The special flour will be delivered to the President of Israel, the Prime Minister and we may even get a chance to have a small bag to bake some very special bread.

Tourism activities at the Windmill

  • Boutique Wine Shop – opened together with the Jerusalem Winery – selling a special series of wines created especially for the Windmill site. Come for a tasting, workshop or just to shop.
  • Escape Park – a super fun outdoor Escape Room Game – great activity for families & adults to explore the Mishkenot Sheenanim area. This game can also be played on Saturday by Shabbat observers,  if it is booked in advance.
  • Tours/Workshops – learn the tricks of the trade and how you can anticipate the winds to work the windmill. Hear the fascinating history of the Windmill and the neighborhood of Mishkenot Sha’ananim.

For more info or to book an activity, contact Yuval at windmill@funinjerusalem.com

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About Joanna Shebson

Joanna is the Founder and FUN Expert at Fun In Jerusalem. What started out as a mommy blog has grown into a successful tourism website. Joanna is married with three kids and lives in Katamon, Jerusalem. She loves to inspire family fun in Jerusalem.

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