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The mills on the Schwentine

Advantage was taken of favourable conditions on the Schwentine to establish a watermill here as early as the 13th century. The first mill had to make way for the “Nigen Möle”, the New Mill (Neumühlen) around 1500. The former Kornwassermühle (Corn Water Mill), whose building has survived to the present day, was built in 1799. The two granite-arch bridges with an older bark and oil mill adjacent to the north were also built at this time.

Carl Daniel Voigts,
Carl Daniel Voigts, "Neumühlen on the Schwentine", 1805

The Lange brothers from Altona had the old mills on the north bank pulled down in 1865 / 66 and built a six storey modern factory at right angles to the Schwentine. Germany’s largest and most important grain mill came into being within a very short time. 80 sets of millstones driven by steam- and water-power ground the corn. The flour was loaded onto barges directly from the mill, transported to Kiel and moved on from there by rail or ship. Products of the Lange Mill achieved international recognition at the Paris and Vienna World Fairs in 1867 and 1873 respectively.

Mill view about 1860
Mill view about 1860

Mill view about 1895
Mill view about 1895

An air raid on 9 April 1945 finally destroyed the huge mill building. After that, the business was carried on until 1993 in the two surviving silos. The new silo dating from 1934 was rebuilt as a students’ hostel, the older silo was pulled down in 2008. All that still stands of the once massive factory complex is the north-west corner, a little cube that was restored in 1998 and has housed a café-restaurant since then.

Pictorial material: Kieler Stadtarchiv, Stadt- und Schifffahrtsmuseum

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