There were once over 10,000 windmills in the Netherlands. Even today there are more than a thousand. And the number increases every year as mills are restored and replica mills built on historic mill sites.
Windmills dominate, although there are watermills in the eastern provinces. Rivers in much of the country are however not suitable for watermills. But the flat, low lying land and strong prevaling wind mean that the windmill was widely developed as a source of power.
There were of course many corn mills. Fortified cites had several mills on their ramparts. But the windmill was also the source of power for land drainage - including land below sea level. Some polders had large numbers of mills used to pump out water, before they were replaced by steam and electrical power.
The wind was also an important source of power for industry and led to an early industrial revolution - particularly in the area to the north of Amsterdam known as the Zaanstreek.
Today it is still possible to see working saw mills, oil mills, paint mills and a paper mill.
MillScenes has photographs of around 350 mills in the Netherlands. They are organised by province. Zuid Holland has so many windmills that it will be further sub-divided, but it is not yet loaded. None of the photographs of mills in Friesland or Limburg have yet been scanned, but will follow soon. Otherwise most provinces have at least some photographs loaded.
The mill society for the Netherlands is:
An English translation of a book about Dutch mills is available on the Internet: The Dutch Windmill by Frederick Stokhuyzen. As well as historical and technical text, it includes good drawings of different types of mill in the Netherlands