THE ONLY PRESERVED FLOATING MILL IN CENTRAL EUROPE

Nils Kraus - Aug 23, 2010
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Slovak town Kolarovo has a unique attraction, a floating mill. There are very few of them in central Europe and this one is open to public. Tourists can also visit the folk museum here.

 

In the 20th century mills were important part of a country’s infrastructure. Almost every village or town on a bigger river had one. In Slovakia you can still find some land-based mills but there is only one floating mill in the country and perhaps in the central Europe as well. It is located on the Little Danube River in Kolarovo, southwest Slovakia. The mill-wheel, however, spun only once when a towboat brought the mill to Kolarovo from Komarno. In fact, it is not the original mill but just a replica.

There were dozens of floating mills on the Danube and Vah River. According to server Ceskenoviny.cz, there were five to seven of them in Kolarovo itself. Nevertheless, the floating mills were slowly disappearing ever since their construction was limited in 19th century. They were in the way of the increasing river transport so they had to go. After the World War Two nobody really needed their services.

The mill in Kolarovo is a unique replica that was built in 1982. The original mill was built in 1920 but it burned down in 1945. The replica was decaying for some time because there was no use for it. At one moment the town let the mill to a group of young men who converted it into a pub. The first thing they did was to cut some parts of it with a chainsaw. They caused a damage reaching approximately 5600 euros.

The floating mill is now open to public and thousands of tourists come to see it. It, however, lacks floating water but the authorities do not want to run the millwheel with electricity either because it could damage it. Except for the floating museum tourists can see here a folk museum with livestock or an engine for loom that used to make fishing nets.

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