Endangered wooden birds of Gagauzia

Beshalma village Windmill 

A windmill is an environmentally friendly mechanism that generates energy from natural elements, in this case using wind energy. Wind energy is the converted energy of solar radiation, and while the sun is shining, the winds will also blow. Thus, the wind is also a renewable source of energy.

People use wind energy from time immemorial — it suffices to recall the sailing fleet, which was already among the ancient Phoenicians and other peoples who lived simultaneously with them, and windmills. In principle, it would seem easy to convert wind energy into electric current — it is enough to replace the millstone with an electric generator. The winds are blowing everywhere, they can blow in the summer, and in the winter, and in the daytime, and at night — this is their significant advantage over the solar radiation itself. Therefore, numerous attempts to “harness the wind into a harness” and force it to generate an electric current are understandable.

Mills appeared in Asia at the beginning of the 7th century AD, and from there, in the 12th century, migrated to Europe.

Description of Beshalma village windmill

The unofficial symbol of Beshalma is an old windmill located on the eastern hill of the village. Its distinctive silhouette against the sky is an unmistakable guide for tourists. Sometimes on this isthmus of such structures there were several dozens, before in the territory of Gagauzia there were a lot of windmills, their number constantly increased, only in Beshalm from 10 mills in 1820 (with a population of 90 families) their number increased 34 mills in 1895 to 54 1950 This meant that there were 54 inhabitants per mill. With the coming of the communists to power after 1945, the development of the collective farm economy began, the number of mills decreased.

For 30 years from 63 mills to 10, a villager said that: in 1952, the communists decided that the mill was useless for their family, but there was a place for the collective farm, the mill was destroyed and there was no stone left. Only two have survived to this day. One is located in the depths of the village, another surviving mill which was built by Bulgarian colonists is located in an open area that attracts tourists with an excellent view for photographs, and you can see it directly from the doors of the museum. In 1996, a group of local patriots, mostly descendants, and the owners of the mills reconstructed it at their own expense. Currently, the mill is started only when necessary, windmills, as a rule, are used for grinding corn or wheat seeds.

The foundation of the mill is made of stone, and the base and blades are entirely made of wood, which has already turned black from time to time. Inside the mill were the mechanisms that drive the millstones. Equipped with a wheel that increases its stability. Usually, corn and flour were measured using a wooden tub with a capacity of 21 kg. Payment for the grinding of grain was carried out as a melt in the form of an exchange, the owner of the mill from a big tub took one boat into which 1 kg of products could fit. Today it does not work like a real mill, but instead, it is an intriguing tourist attraction.

The mill in the village of Baurchi was built in 1930. Just as in Beshalma built according to the Bulgarian project is in working condition, such a mill can grind 1 bag of grain 50 kg in 5 minutes, and with a strong wind in 3 minutes. but now they are threshing at a more modern mill. In Baurchi, by 1945 there were 15 mills, and now there is only one.

Gaidar village

The windmill at Gaidar was built by German and Hungarian colonists who migrated to Gagauzia. At the moment, it is working, its reconstruction was carried out in itself is not a difficult matter as the mechanism itself is not damaged, but the most difficult thing in a windmill is a special stone, which is very expensive and has such property as very low attenuation.

Photo by Julia Ivanceva

The construction of a windmill could only be provided by wealthy people, mostly mills worked in the fall when the harvests were harvested, but some did not have a room for storing flour and were therefore forced to grind grain throughout the year. The mill was equipped with a lever that moves the mill in a circle so that the wind would blow on the wings at right angles to regulate its work. This lever is controlled by one person.

Article by: Ivan Ivancev

Photo by Julia Ivanceva and public sources

Gagauzia has it’s own birds, go take a look

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