Some weeks ago I had the chance to visit a really beautiful ancient Mill, located in the heart of France. One of the few evidence of a past which is not remembered for wars and destructions, but for work and ingenius handicraft. We often remember battles because we are used to think that history was done with the sword, but we should remember that prosperity and the hard work of common people shaped history through a slow social evolution.
The “Moulin de l’Étang” was a Mill for textile work; they were used to extract dyes from particular flowers and stain wool and cotton, in a village called Bourg Lastic, right in the middle of two beautiful natural parks, ideal for excursions and hiking. The driving force that is making moving the grindstone is the potential energy of the water of the pond transformed in kinetic energy by the wheel of the Mill.
This structure is dated before french revolution; there are documents which attest the intention of a noble of the time asking for money to build that Mill. It’s a fascinating story which the actual owner of the Mill explained me, with many details that unfortunately would be too long to describe here. However it is possible to discover much more, if you are interested, thanks to the work of an association for the preservation of ancient Mills:
Before to be renovated, years ago, this Mill was just a ruin and only the hard work and passion of the owners could give back to this place its old dignity. To come here was an exceptional experience because I could discover popular traditions and an history that hardly you will find in text books.
European Union, which is desperatly looking for common roots and identity, should probably take care more to preserve these places, which testify the existence of wealth and productivity, commerce and exchange. All principles that always contributed to connect people.