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Aruba’s Old Dutch Windmill

You’ll find this Aruba landmark near the Palm Beach high rise hotels,right where J.E. Irausquin Blvd makes a jug handle turn near the Aruba Butterfly Farm. It is currently a restaurant, but I cannot speak to the quality of the food. Since I have been visiting Aruba the restaurant has changed hands frequently, but the Windmill never changes. It’s simply not as prominent a landmark as it used to be, since so much development has taken place around it.

Still, it has an interesting history. It is an authentic Dutch windmill,built in 1804 in Friesland, Holland. It was originally used to drain water from low lying land, and later used as a grain mill.

By 1929, two storms had damaged it to the point where it was useless and abandoned.

In 1960 the burgeoning tourism industry was looking for original tourist attractions. The old windmill was found in Groningen, Netherlands. The windmill was purchased by a private merchant, who had it carefully disassembled and shipped to Aruba. Once it arrived in pieces, it was reassembled. This project was officially recognized as the first privately financed tourism initiative on the island.

In March of 1962 the restaurant De Olden Molden opened for business. Since then, many restaurants,bars and nightclubs have opened and closed at the site. Local legend has it that a witch placed a hex on the building after the restaurant then known as The Mill was sold in the mid 1970’s, which may explain the frequent business failures at the site since.

In the 1970’s the Old Dutch Windmill was featured in the Aruba Tourism Authority’s original “One Happy Island” advertising campaign. A magazine ad showed smiling, waving people surrounding the windmill and sitting on the blades.

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  2. carol G says:

    How do we get a reservation at the restaurant and what is it called now?

    • admin says:

      It is a very small restaurant. Your best bet would be to go there and have a look around. I don’t know if they accept telephone reservations.

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