The most remarkable set of windmills that survives in Crete today is located in Seli Ambelou in the Lassithi Plateau. It is situated at the northern entrance of the Plateau and it is the “trademark” of the area.
Today there are 24 windmills left (originally they were 26). Seven of them are south of the street that enters the Plateau and the rest are on its northern side.
All the mills are of the same type. These windmills were used by the people of Lasithi and other inhabitants of the area to grind the cereals. Its existence is mentioned since the Venetian era. More specifically the mills of Ambelos were transferred to this site at the end of the 19th century from the site Zaronas near the village Potamoi.
This type of windmills, which grind at a fixed position, that is, a stable direction of the wind, can be found today in Crete and Karpathos, the difference being that the Cretan ones are more elegant.
(Author: Chrysoula Tzombanaki, architect – archeologist)