• Serifos - Windmills in Pano Chora - Cyclades
  • Ano Chora - Windmills of Serifos
  • Windmill in Chora


Distance from Livadi: 4,5 km

The windmills were and still are a representative element of the Cycladic islands. These stone cylindrical buildings found their ideal operating conditions in the windward Aegean islands. They were usually built facing north in high tops, where the wind passed freely, while their construction required effort, time and great expense. The first windmills in Greece appeared somewhere between the 12th and 13th century and their number in Cyclades is believed to have exceeded six hundred.

A characteristic feature of the Chora of Serifos are the three perfectly maintained windmills, in Ano Chora, at the Windmills Square. There are also ruins of other windmills, since a few years ago there were eight of them on the backbone of Chora and almost 20 overall on the whole island. Their present form belongs to the “axetroharis” (/αksεtro’charis/) type, that is a windmill with vertical sails and an horizontal axle, which is fitted in the fixed building and not in a mobile conical roof. This type is also called “monokeros” (/mo’nokεros/, i.e. “one weather”) since it operates ideally under one wind direction. In Serifos, however, there were more types: the “xetroharis” (/ksεtro’chαris/) windmill with the rotating rooftop, in accordance with the wind, the older and rarer “taralis” (/tα’rαlis/) with the horizontal blades on the rooftop, the “tavlomylos” (/tα’vlomilos/) with the wooden planks instead of cloth sails, as well as the watermills that operated on running water brooks.

The wind put in rotation the sail system of the windmill, which consisted of triangular cloths tied on long spokes and affixed to the one end of the main axle. At the other end a system of wheels transmitted the motion to another axle, which led to the huge, round millstone (“panaria”, /pαnα’rjα/). This millstone rotated on top of a fixed stone (“kataria”, /kαtα’rjα/) and between the two the grain was ground into flour. The miller fees depended on the quantity of grist, but he always kept a small part of the ground wheat, the so-called “xai” (/’ksa-i/).