Windmills and watermills have been a characteristic feature of the Dutch landscape for centuries. They were used from the Middle Ages for the regulation of the water level and for power gen eration for such industries as flour mills and sawmills. Steam and electricity have since substituted for the mechanical functions of windmills as sources of power. In the last decades, however, a lot of modern windmills (or wind turbines) have been built to generate electricity. Many of the old windmills are still preserved as museums or have become private dwellings.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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