The Windmills of La Mancha

La Mancha WindmillsSixty kilometers southwest of Toledo stands a vast and wide-open plain on which is planted grains, olives and grapes.  If, while visiting Toledo, you have a car, it is well worth a trip to visit the small town of Consuegra. It is here you’ll find the famous “Windmills of Consuegra.”

I’ve often seen images of these windmills dotting the pages of “La Mancha” travel articles, but until now, have never had an opportunity to visit.  There is a swift new “AutoVia” super-highway leaving Toledo and traveling right by Consuegra.  By car, it takes about 40 minutes.

Approaching Consuegra from the north, you can see the windmills from a distance, across the plains.

La Mancha windmillsIt was a bit of a challenge trying to locate the road up to the windmills.  My GPS was useless, but we found signs pointing us to the Castello and the windmills to be helpful. 

La Mancha WindmillsThe windmills became famous in the 16th century when Don Quixote was first published (BTW – I read somewhere that Don Quixote is the second most read book of all time, after the Bible).  These windmills were introduced by the “Caballeros Sanjuanistas,” who brought these machines to help mill grain.  They were handed down from father to son.  There are still three operating windmills, but only for tourism.  All fell out of use in the 1980’s when less expensive forms of milling were introduced.La Mancha Windmills