Nashtifan Windmills: A 1000+ Years of Harnessing Wind Power

The Nashtifan Windmills are one of the most amazing wonders of the world. Located in the village of Nashtifan in northeastern Iran, these windmills are a testament to the ingenuity and skill of ancient engineers who harnessed the power of the wind to grind grain and pump water.

The Nashtifan Windmills were originally built to grind grain into flour and to pump water for irrigation purposes. The windmills were strategically placed in the village to capture the strong winds that blow through the area, making them an ideal source of power.

The earliest windmill references date back to 644 CE with a Persian millwright and 915 CE with windmills in Seistan, Iran, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

How it works

The design of the Nashtifan Windmills is simple yet effective. The windmills consist of vertical wooden sails that are connected to a central shaft. As the wind blows, the sails turn, and the central shaft rotates, which in turn drives a grindstone or a water pump. The windmills are made entirely of wood and are constructed using traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.

The Nashtifan windmills consist of eight chambers, each with six blades that harness the strong and steady winds of the region. These blades power grindstones, with the structures towering up to 65 feet in height. The name Nashtifan derives from the words “storm’s sting,” emphasizing the area’s notorious winds.

While these windmills can generate enough power to turn a stone, they are not as efficient as modern turbines designed to produce much more power. The Nashtifan windmills are still a remarkable example of prehistoric engineering and have left a lasting impression on the community of Nashtifan.

Nashtifan Windmills
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One of the most impressive aspects of the Nashtifan Windmills is their durability. Despite being over a thousand years old, many windmills are still in use today. The windmills have survived earthquakes, storms, and other natural disasters, which proves their sturdy construction and the skill of the engineers who built them.

The “Asbads” (the local word for the blades) of Nashtifan are incredible windmills made of clay, wood, and straw that have been milling grain for over 1,000 years. These windmills are an example of how adaptable people are because they were built to turn environmental challenges into possibilities. The development of Asbads was due to the strong and continuous 120-day winds that sweep through the east and southeast of the Iranian Plateau from late May to late September each year.

Cultural Importance

The Nashtifan Windmills have also played an important role in the history and culture of the village. The windmills have been an integral part of the local economy for centuries, and have helped to sustain the village through times of drought and famine. The windmills have also been the subject of local folklore and legends, which have helped to preserve their legacy and keep them alive in the hearts and minds of the local people.

In recent years, the Nashtifan Windmills have gained international recognition for their cultural and historical significance. They are significant as a cultural and historical sites since they were included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. UNESCO recognizes Asbads as a smart technique to grind grains, harkening back to ancient times when people in eastern Iran invented them to adapt to their environment and overcome environmental challenges.

In conclusion, the Nashtifan Windmills are an amazing feat of engineering that has stood the test of time. They are a testament to the ingenuity and skill of ancient engineers who were able to harness the power of the wind to grind grain and pump water. The windmills have played an important role in the history and culture of the village, and continue to inspire and amaze people from all over the world.

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