Inside a Windmill in Zaanse Schans near Amsterdam

Nes Felicio Photography

Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain, or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes on its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind
– The Windmills of Your Mind
(Michel Legrand, English lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman)


Interesting that such a beautiful song could be inspired by something so utilitarian.

In Zaanse Schans, just outside Amsterdam, one can find well-preserved windmills from the 1600’s still spinning, like “ever-spinning reels.” Though the site of the sails “whirling silently in space” looks spectacular, they served as sawmills, paint mills, oil mills and other industrial duties.


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