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mill handwork

The miller is daily in the water mill on his feet and presents the old craft.

Hydropower grinds 1665 organic cereals between the two sandstones into coarse flour in the historic grinding mill.

With its fascinating wooden gear mechanism and the 3-meter mill wheel on barrel-heavy oak shaft, the Schaumühle offers interested guests an insight into traditional miller art. Myths and legends, like those of Krabat and the black miller, are felt in this place.

The mill

Our watermill has been mentioned in documents since 1665. Closed in 1875 due to   unprofitability, it was reconstructed completely in 2007, based on archaeological findings and a rare copper engraving by Ludwig Richter, but in every detail historically.

The watermill as a technical monument represents a hydro-mechanical peculiarity, because it is the only known watermill to grind exclusively with the amount of water from the Ilm spring, which rises just a few meters above the mountain. The Ilmquelle is the strongest spring in Saxon Switzerland and donates 6 liters of water per second both summer and winter. However, this very small amount of water for the milling is cleverly directed to the 40 individual water blades, in order to creakingly set in motion the tons of grinding.

Only organic spelled is ground in the mill. The miller is on his feet every day and presents the old craft. He maintains the tradition of miller people and likes to be looked over the shoulder. Anyone who likes can watch it at any time, as he sets the water wheel in motion, filling the grain in the mill and checked the flour to its degree of fineness! The small mill has only one turnaround and thus creates only one sack of flour per day.

You can take the spelled flour that you have gained in our mill home with you. We process most of it in our own bakery.

History

1665 laid the mill the cornerstone for the cottage Schmilka on the Elbe. The watermill did not make the generations of millers rich. It was a difficult living with the small amounts of water Ilmbaches. Therefore, the miller could not live alone with his family and had to do other work as well.

Around 1800, however, the mill experienced an immense boom. Johann Gottfried Hänsel acquired them for 1,500 talers and the promise to marry the widow of his predecessor. It was the time of the Romantics,   who traveled on the Malerweg Saxon Switzerland. Among them Caspar David Friedrich and Adrian Ludwig Richter. For these same Swiss travelers, the miller set up a bakery, a restaurant and a night-quarters in addition to the grinding operation. So the business started to flourish. Wilhelm Leberecht Götzinger, who is considered the developer of the Saxon Switzerland, recommended the mill in his descriptions "with a friendly service and as a night's lodging" and he writes: "here there is always stock, good beer".

In the late 19th century, however, the mill lost more and more of economic importance and the subsequent mill owners limited themselves to the hospitality of Switzerland travelers. In 1875, the miller abandoned the grinding mill and, in 1881, the bread bakery. Since then, it was only operated as a restaurant and hotel, later as a holiday home, until it was completely abandoned in the early 90s.

Over the years, the idea came up to make the "Schmilk mill" what it once was: a watermill. When researching in archives and chronicles, one came across the "30 prospects and prospects for the visit of Saxon Switzerland" by Adrian Ludwig Richter. In this issue also the mill of Schmilka is shown as a copper engraving. This motif by A. L. Richter served as a model for the historical reconstruction of the "Schmilk mill". Thanks to the support of the Leader + Funding Initiative, this project was realized in 2007.

Since then, the grinder has not only turned to the mill festival on the occasion of the German mill day. However, the new owner, Sven-Erik Hitzer, had even greater goals, namely putting the mill into operation on a daily basis and creating with it an authentic world of experience like 200 years ago.

In September 2012, the mill again opened its doors with daily milling and baking operations. From now on, the grinding mill and the bread bakery are open to all mill Lovers.

Mill tours

Experience traditional crafts and get to know the functioning of the mill! For connoisseurs and lovers, we offer in our historic, fully functional, lovingly restored water mill in Schmilka, daily an interesting and expertise-based leadership. Here you will be given an insight into the historical production processes and the functioning with all its facets of our superficial watermill. Experience with all your senses how organically grown grain, with technical sophistication, becomes stone-ground flour. It's best to try the oven-warm products from our wood-burning bakery next door.


Current tours and tours

water wheel

The water wheel of the Schmilka mill is powered by the Ilm spring. This is the strongest source of Saxon Switzerland with a bed of 6 liters per second and is located only 80 meters above the mill wheel at the entrance to the National Park, which is a rare feature.

The wheel of the Schmilka mill is an overshot wheel. A small weir diverts water from the Ilmbach into a wooden mill trench. At the top of the wheel, the water then hits the wheel, runs into the 40 cells and sets the wheel in motion.

The energy that regenerates the waterwheel drives the grinder. Six to eight revolutions per Minute.

The grinder

The grinder is built entirely of wood in the traditional crafting process. In 2007 it was reconstructed according to historical views. Two millstones set in motion and grind the grain in an increasingly narrower grinding gap.

It is ground only spelled grain in the mill. Two complete meals are possible per day. The miller starts the first meal in the morning. Slowly the ground grain trickles into the flour sack. Then it is filled once more in the mill and ground again with even narrower grinding gap. This results in the finest flour, which the miller can then process into crispy spelled bread in the bakery.


Schmilka - the organic retreat in the National Park©

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