The Britzer Muhle is one of the eight remaining windmills in Berlin, and it is the only surviving windmill that used to exist in Neukölln. Also, it’s the only remaining fully functional windmill in Berlin, and you need to visit this place for many reasons.
I accidentally discovered the place when taking my bike for a long walk to Brandenburg. Once at Buckower Damm, I saw this weird-shaped thing in the corner of my eye, and I had to stop my bike. That odd shape was the Britzer Muhle.
This was more than a couple years ago, and every so often, I cycle around the area and stop to enjoy the view of a fully functional windmill in the German capital. It doesn’t make that much sense to me, but it’s a sight that I love to see.
But what is the story behind the Britzer Muhle?
The area where the Britzer Muhle stands today used to belong to master baker Friedrich Jentsch, who bought the property in 1856. A few years later, it was sold to Heinrich Simon, who built a house, stables, and a barn. In 1862, the property was sold again to master baker Friedrich Wilhelm Schulz. In 1865, it was resold to timber trader Carl-Rudolf Wismar, and, finally, in 1865, it went into the hands of master miller Johann Wilhelm Gottlob Dörfer.
After the property moved between owners for more than 10 years, Johann Wilhelm Gottlob Dörfer decided to build the Dutch windmill we can see today. The technology behind it was a combination of British and American, and nowadays, the twelve-edged type with two grinding cycles is scarce when it comes to windmills.
The property changed owners a few more times, and in 1955, it came under preservation. The wings and gallery were restored, and the mill was covered in new wooden shingles. Something that was genuinely needed since Britzer Muhle was partially destroyed during the Allied Air Raids in 1943.
In 1959, the city of Berlin acquired the property, and it became part of the concept behind the 1985 Federal Garden Show that developed the gorgeous Britzer Gardens close by. In February 1987, the windmill was used again after standing still for more than 50 bars. The first grains were pounded in the 121-year-old windmill, and the restaurant opened in the same year.
Today, you can visit the Britzer Muhle, and there are windmill tours as well. The Britzer Muhle restaurant is open daily, and they offer bread that is made from the grains ground in the mill. So, if you are interested in the history of Neukölln and would like to explore it further, this is one of the best places for this.
The pictures you can see here are from different visits to Britzer Muhle. Some date to 2014, some from 2018, and the ones taken by drone are from the Spring of 2020.
Britzer Muhle – finding Windmills in Berlin-Neukölln
Buckower Damm 130, 12349 Berlin