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Windmills at Seli Ambelou

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The stone-built windmills of Seli Ambelou stand as a testament to Crete’s rich heritage and are nestled at the northern gateway of the Lasithi Plateau. Originally numbering 27, 24 of these magnificent structures remain, echoing tales from the Venetian era. Historical accounts suggest that by the close of the 19th century, these windmills found their home in Seli Ambelou, having been relocated from Zaronas, near Potamoi village.

What makes these windmills especially captivating is their uniform design, each bearing the signature Axetrocharis style. Characterized by a rectangular base and a distinctive semicircular wall, they come to life atop this foundation, steadfastly facing northwest. Though they remain stationary, their legacy has travelled far and wide, with similar mills adorning the landscapes of Karpathos Island. Decades ago, these mills were the heartbeats of local communities, grinding cereals and supporting livelihoods.

Positioned 52 kilometres from Agios Nikolaos and a mere 3 kilometres from Tzermiado, these windmills have evolved into a magnetic tourist spot. Their historical significance isn’t just local; until 1950, this assembly was considered among the largest and most ancient sets of windmills, not just in Crete but throughout Greece.

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