- das Minden-Magazin

Ship mill Minden

Die Schiffmühle Minden auf der Weser.

To the 1,200-year-old town jubilee of Minden in 1998 originated the idea: The reconstruction of a ship mill from the 18th century, as they have till the 19th century on the Weser in Minden conveniently and ground. Now the experience fascinates if the cracks of the wooden gear of the ship mill mix with the noise of the water. The Mindener ship mill is to be visited from April to October, on Tuesdays to on Sundays and on the holidays of from 11 to 18 o'clock in the Weser promenade to the south of the footbridge over the Weser. With about 29,000 visitors in the about 7-month season the ship mill counts Minden to the mostly visited museum facilities in the mill circle of Minden-Luebbecke. 

Immediately in the ship mill the just converted ship mill pavilion with beer garden and roofed terrace which is opened the whole week about and also in the evening for guests expects the visitors. During the summer months cultural events also take place on the ship mill. Under it theatrical evenings and music evenings as well as readings as for example from the free Mindener author's union “The reading stage” which wrote even a poem on the ship mill. Since the summer, 2008 a Boulebahn suited for competition is available to friends of the Boulesportes immediately on the Weser. The Boule club of Minden was founded in the middle of 2009. 

Since August, 2006 the ship mill shines during the evening and night hours, besides, in special light. A special light design sketched the Mindener by birth light designer Laura Schröder for the swimming meal work which forms from the east with the gate to the city of Minden. The Sparda bank endowment allowed the conversion of the light design project at cost of about 13,000 euros into the reality.

Ship mill Minden GermanyThe first documentary mention of Mindener ship mills decreases to 1326 when the town leased immediately six moorings for ship mills on the Weser. With it Minden belongs to the oldest ship mill locations in Germany. On a Minden copperplate of Wenzel Hollar from 1650 twelve ship mills which lay side by side on the river in the protection of the town wall graded are to be seen. At this time two different ship mill models are known. With a model waterwheels on both sides of the house ship, with the other are a waterwheel between house ship and Wellschiff – how with the Mindener ship mill. 

The forces of the nature and warlike actions removed the ship mills also in Minden visibly. Thus Swedish troops during the 30-year-old war in 1634 at the beginning of her siege of the imperial troops in the Weser town destroyed the Mindener ship mills by artillery fire. When at the beginning of the 19th century the steamboat journey also asserted itself on the Weser increasingly and the ship mills lay „in the way“, the swimming meal works disappeared visibly from the waterway. The decision of the Congress of Vienna that the use of all waterways each stays empty meant the end of the ship mills. At the beginning of the 19th century one more ship mill presumably lay before the walls of the city of Minden how a town elevation of the painter Strack from 1803/1807 points. In 1907 the presumably last ship mill on the Weser adjusted into Bodenwerder, in the grinding and site foreman's works for the treatment were carried out by Obernkirchener sandstone, the operation. 

The planning, construction and execution of construction of the reconstructed Mindener the ship mill which dropped anchor in 1998 on the Weser was explained by the conductor at that time of the mill contractor's yard of the circle of Minden-Lübbecke in the neighbouring town Peter's hedges-Frille, Wolfgang Kuhlmann. To a man who had already collected with the repair of more than 40 historical windmills and water mills in the “mill circle of Minden-Lübbecke” experiences. As a mill expert he could put together for the ship mill from different sources information and insert missing. Above all of oak the mill reconstruction at cost of about 226,000 euros was provided. Only for the foundation of the roof larch timber was used.

Ship mill Minden at nightWill maintain the ship mill of the association ship mill Minden the inc. which also provides for the operation of the ship mill. The members of the association act exclusively in an honourary capacity. Besides, the carrier association occupies three full-time ship millers from whom two acted before in special conveyor projects for long time unemployed person or older employees. 

The hull by the big house ship (13 metres long, in front 4.40, behind 5.65 metres wide) and the smaller Wellschiff (length 11.60 metres, in front 1.25, behind two metres wide) as a support for the waterwheel shaft consists of steel - for durability reasons. The meal technology and the bag box in which the flour is sifted out in the eleven-metre-long and six-metre-wide mill building against it corresponds again to old German design. The driving mechanism of the so-called comb wheels and wicker wheels of wood and, in the end, of the about 800 kilogramme grinding stone in the staying empty mill bed occurs through the water power of the Weser which drives ten shovels five-metre-wide in each case of the eichenen waterwheel with his five metres of diameter. The Mindener ship mill is the only ready for operation ship mill on a river in Germany in which the way of the grain can be exactly pursued up to groats and flour. 

The first ship mills which were mentioned in a document come from the year 536 A.D. the Ostrogoths besieged Rome and cut the water supply to the water mills in the town to starve the Romans. As a result a Roman general let in the Tiber anchor small boats on which meal works were established by land mills. As a driving mechanism waterwheels were hung between the small boats in the flow of the Tiber. 

Above all in mediaeval times and in the younger modern times hundreds of ship mills were used on all bigger Central European rivers. However, their power was always low. Thus a mill master builder wrote about 1850 that such a ship mill „can with difficulty perform something substantial“. 

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