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December 6, 2021
ARTS & LEISURE

Nearly 100,000 visitors at Astra windmills museum this summer

The mill collection of the ASTRA Museum in the forest of Dumbrava Sibiului (central Romania) got nearly 100,000 visitors this summer, Agerpres reports. ‘The windmills in the outdoors museum collection are pivoting, meaning they can spin around a central axis to allow an optimal capture of wind energy. This central axle is called ‘babalac’ [old geezer], and its purpose is to keep the mill body vertical,’ explained museologist Stefan Paucean, the director of the Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization.
The mills are arranged by themes and types, according to the construction used to put wind energy at work for grinding cereals and to the geographical and ethnic source. The collection includes mills that spin as a whole to face wind. There’s also a ‘capped’ or Dutch mill, where only the dome spins.
There are 23 types of mills overall in the outdoors museum, and they are all functional. A unique piece is a mill on stone foundations, with a system of 12 sails. Its’ whole energy capture and transmission system is much lighter and more efficient. This type was widespread in the Mediterranean basin, especially along the eastern shore and in southern Greece, which is why it is often called the Mediterranean type. The oldest mill in the museum of Sibiu was built in 1833.

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