On”Kongens Bastion” (King’s Bastion) we find the citadel windmill. It’s a so-called Dutch windmill, featuring an octagon lower part of brickwork, and an upper wooden part, covered by shingles.Just over the bricked part, there is a wooden walkabout, from where the top part may be turned into the wind, and sails may be set on the wings.
This is the last preserved of the many windmills,that once made flour for the city of Copenhagen. Only this is left of the many, but then it is in fully working order, and still capable of grinding flour.
Right from the beginning a windmill was intended here. In the original plans for the citadel as approved by King Frederik the 3rd a somewhat strange mill was situated here, including a peculiar underground structure that was to be connected to the castle, that should also have been erected where we today find the church. It is unclear if this was meant to be a regular mill, or rather a powder mill. However, it was never built.
The intended castle wasn’t built either (excluding the foundations, which are still to be found under the church square).
Considering the fact, that bread has been baked in the citadel right from the earliest days it is strange that a mill was only built many years later. The first mentioning is in 1718, where it is ordered built, but this obviously took some time, since the next time we learn about it is 19th October 1720, where it is called “the new windmill”.
In the very same letter a wooden bridge is ordered built between the northern magazine building and the bastion.
Much later the still existing bridge between the southern magazine house and the bastion.
Until the first mill was erected, a mill in “Dronningens Have” (The Queen’s Garden) was used, until it blew down in a gale, after that in a mill south of Toldbodvej. There were problems in using such private mills, since the mill man would often grind “private people’s” flour before the King’s, since it was better paid. Due to this, the Army got its own mill in the “Kastellet”. The first mill was a wooden post mill, a less effective mill than the present one, and thus it still was necessary to let a part of the grain be milled on private mills, and also to use horsedriven mills. The first post mill was situated a little more to the southeast than the present mill.
The best known person connected to this mill is probably the famous artist Christen Købke, whose father was the baker (by then called Breadbaking Entrepreneur) from 1815. Living in the “Kastellet” Købke painted a lot of paintings from the citadel, and is today known as “Kastelsmaleren” (The Citadel Painter) though he also painted a lot of other motives.
The first postmill got quite a long life, but in a fierce gale it was blown down 26th January 1846. The remains was sold in an auction, and the present mill built instead. This is a so called “Dutch” mill with a lower part of brick, and where only the very top is turned into the wind. Such a mill is far more effective, and could grind 2-3 times as much grain. It was finished 1847 and used every day until 1908, where a motor mill took over.
After that the beautiful mill was no longer needed, but since motor mills was by then something very modern, and thus not really trusted, the old mill was preserved as a reserve. Thus we still have this mill, and it is even in full working order. “Kastellets Venner & Historisk Samling” has established a windmill group that runs the mill, and from time to time put sails on it, grinding a little flour. Thus you may still enjoy the sight of a working windmill here.Beneath it is shown in a post card, stamped in 1909.