The Medulin mills. (Photo:Tomislav Šikić/Voice of Croatia) The Medulin mills. (Photo:Tomislav Šikić/Voice of Croatia)

It was built in 1873 by the brothers Ivan and Andrea Pošić from Rovinj. Returning from America, they were thrilled by the fertile Medulin land and recognized how much potential a mill could have in that very spot. They built two sail powered mills, wisely taking into account the frequent winds that blow in Istra most narrowest part. People from the surrounding villages came to the mill, as well as those from nearby islands such as Unija or Susak, but also people from Primorje as far away as Rijeka and Opatija.

 

A tablet with the year the mill was built. (Photo:Tomislav Šikić/Voice of Croatia)

- The mills became a pace of gathering and socializing, while bread ovens were between them. There was no electricity so people often had to wait for the wind to blow and turn the sails so that grains could be ground. While they were waiting, people ate and drank, sang and played football, chatted and enjoyed themselves - says Manuela Hrvatin from the Mendula Cultural-artistic Creation Association from Medulin, the initiator of the idea to reconstruct the mill.

Not all those that came had grain, and the poorer population was innovative so, for example, people from Lovran brought chestnuts that they would exchange for flour. 

The interior of the Medulin mill. (Photo:Tomislav Šikić/Voice of Croatia)

The two mills soon became a proper oasis of rare moments of fun and relaxation for the poor peasants. - Unfortunately, the two brothers got into an argument, as is usually the case, over money. From then on one mill ran on wind and the other on coal, while Ivan and Andrea never spoke to each other again - explains Nevenka Lorencin, a Culture and Tourism graduate student who tells the story to the curious visitors of the mill. 

A panorama of Medulin can be seen from the Mill. (Photo:Tomislav Šikić/Voice of Croatia)

8 years from the idea to realization of the mill’s reconstruction

The story of the Meduln mill was almost forgotten and many thought that the mill was actually a defensive tower, so that is what they often called it. However, in Medulin they decided to revive the story of the mill and began the reconstruction project which took eight years to complete from idea to realization.

It was especially demanding to build the complex mechanism that turns the sails and converts the wind’s energy into the grinding of the millstone, which of course had to be identical to the original. 

The initiators of the project to rebuild the Medulin mill. (Photo:Tomislav Šikić/Voice of Croatia)

Thanks to 800 000 kuna received from the Ministry of Tourism and co-financing by the municipality, almost one million kuna were invested into the reconstruction. Historian Andrej Bader prepared a publication titled “The Medulin Mills”, and last year in July, the mill was finally reconstructed and opened to visitors. - Our windmill is like a young man again and may its sails turn for another hundred years! - says Medulin commissioner Goran Buić.

And truly, along with the new waterfront – the Medulin beauty, the reconstructed mill shines in its full glory. It has again become a place of gathering for people from Medulin and their guests, while due to its perfect location, many cultural and entertainment events are held in an around the mill that Medulin is known for. In this manner, Medulin has become the main centre for a children’s New Year’s Eve party, for the Medulin carnival and in summer there are numerous events that the Medulin citizens will organize to enrich the lives of of tourists and locals. 

Exhibits that take visitors from grain to flour. (Photo:Tomislav Šikić/Voice of Croatia)

- Our plans don’t stop here. We want to make a windmill park with all the accompanying content, from new walled bread ovens, to sale of authentic souvenirs and culinary specialties, so that our tradition and roženica ( a traditional instrument used in Istra) can be experienced here. Across from the mill, on the other side of the bay, the Vižula archaeological park project has begun on the peninsulafull of old roman ruins - notes Manuela Hrvatin. 

Flour from the rebuilt mill. (Photo:Tomislav Šikić/Voice of Croatia)

The hard working people from Medulin have become known as being good entrepreneurs – judging by the reconstructed mill, so the Vižula project will not stop after the ribbon cutting ceremony. It is worth taking the time to visit Medulin because people from Medulin welcome their guests with open hearts.