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The Baalsbrugger mill is mentioned for the first time in 1106 in old writings of the abbey Klosterrade, today Rolduc. The site for this monastery had been carefully chosen two years earlier by its founder, Ailbertus van Antoing. The area had numerous wells with clean water, there was fertile soil and a lot of forest, necessary as building and fire material. At the foot of the hill, on the bank of the Wurm, a water mill was soon built. A few centuries later the mill was not doing so well. It fell into ruin and in the 17th century the abbot of the monastery decided to build a new mill. This is the Baalsbrugger mill of today.
The mill provided income for the clergy of Klosterrade. The count of Rode Castle helped them with this. He forced the farmers of the area to grind their grain in the new mill on the Wurm. In return, the owners of the mill received 10 percent of the grain that the farmers had ground. Therefore, such mills were also called 'Bannmühle' or 'Zwangsmühle'.
Water power was an important source of energy during this period. In the Baalsbrugger mill, water power was used to grind grain and press oil from seeds. Originally, the mill had three water wheels. In 1917 these were replaced by a water turbine, at that time a new technique to be able to generate energy with the help of water power. Today, the mill is listed as a historical monument. In order to make it a functioning water mill again, a water wheel is being installed in place of the turbine. Due to the difference in altitude, the reservoir in the Wurm becomes an obstacle for fish. For this reason, the water board is creating a so-called fish ladder.
The Watermill Foundation was established in 2003 with the aim of breathing new life into the Baalsbrugger Mill and its surroundings. In the meantime, the mill building has been restored and opened to the public on certain days. In the mill, grain is ground and green electricity is generated. Visitors will be allowed to experience how water power can be used to generate energy. Volunteer millers will operate the grinding mill and perhaps in the future people will be able to eat and drink there or even spend the night. Presentations and events will tell visitors more about the mill, the Wurm Valley and the beautiful surroundings of the Historic Triangle.
The good German-Dutch cooperation becomes visible here. Visitors can reach the mill via a footbridge from a parking area for bicycles set up on the German bank of the Wurm. Cars can park on the Merksteinstraat. The opening hours of the Baalsbrugger Mill can be found on the website.