|"View of building and windmill built by Sir Moses Montefiore." |
The negative was probably made by British Sergeant Henry
Phillips in May 1866 -- a period when the mill was operational.
(Palestine Exploration Fund)
|The restored windmill today,|
soon to be spinning and
grinding grain again
|The windmill on the horizon in this 1899|
photograph with a Yemenite Jew in
|Scene at the Jerusalem train station|
in the first movie filmed in the Holy Land
in 1896. See windmill on the left horizon
|The blowing up of the sniper's nest|
on top of the windmill in 1948
Over the next century, the windmill stood idle. On the eve of the 1948 war, however, the British High Commissioner Alan Cunningham was leaving the nearby St. Andrews Church when he noticed that the Jewish Haganah had put a gun emplacement on the top of the windmill. Cunningham ordered the destruction of the position. According to Jerusalem legend, the British sapper sent to blow up the mill recognized the name "Montefiore" on the building as the name of a school in England. He only destroyed the sniper's nest.
In the last 40 years repairs have been made to maintain the building's structure, but no effort was made to restore the actual mill -- until now. The Jerusalem Foundation, the Jerusalem Municipality, Dutch Friends of Israel, Israel's Ministry of Tourism and the Prime Minister's Office are sponsoring the restoration of the mill. Once opened at the end of August, the mill will produce flour that will be made into bread and sold at the mill. The mill will have backup electric motors when wind power is not sufficient.