It is traditional for Mallorcan windmills to be painted in blue and white, the former symbolising water
and the latter air. According to the Archduke Ludwig Salvador of Austria, there were 56 windmills
in Mallorca in 1872. Twenty years later there were 1,895, 44% of them to the east of Palma. With a brisk
wind, some mills could pump 40,000 litres an hour. Such enormous quantities, extracted on a wide scale,
caused deeper wells to be dug each year and led to a serious fall in the water table levels and their
consequent salinity, particularly in the Sant Jordi and Campos areas.
Mallorcans took their windmill building skills abroad with them, some to South America, others to the Antipodes. Fr David Barry, monk of the Benedictine
Community in New Norcia, Western Australia, spent some time in Europe in 2002 locating references to New Norcia in the archives
there. One of his finds was correspondence by Brother Romualdo Sala, a Mallorcan, in which he said, “His
Mallorcan companions [Bartolomé] Ramis and [Augustín] Ferrer he reports as being well; the latter has built a
windmill for the use of the Mission.”
There is also a replica of a Mallorcan windmill in the International Wind and Water Mill Museum in Gifhorn in
Lower Saxony Germany. The prettified, and very atypical, ground floor of the mill houses an exhibition of
Mallorcan mills entitled "Yesterday - Today".