Chronicle of the Bergmühle

The „Bergmühle“ in Flensburg

Flensburg was once the town of mills. At the peak of the mill industry, around 1850, 19 windmills turned simultaneously on the heights above the city on both sides of the Flensburg harbor. In total there have been 30 windmills and 24 watermills throughout the history of the city. Not much is left of all this splendor. Only one intact windmill still bears witness to the former importance of milling for the city: the „Bergmühle“ (Mountain Mill) in the north of Flensburg.

In 1792 the tenant of the state mills in Flensburg, the abbot Rickleff Ingwersen, the broker Andreas Boysen and the deputy citizen Hans Petersen Schmidt received permission to build a windmill on their own account for the production of pearl barley. The new mill was built at the level of the Krummweg on the road to Bau. It was called „Bergmühle“ because of its higher location.

The Bergmühle was built as a one-story gallery Dutchman with 4 sail wings and codend. The covering consisted of wooden shingles, which had to be renewed in 1810.

As already mentioned, the mountain mill was originally used exclusively for the production of pearl barley. According to the law in force at the time, the production of flour was reserved for the sovereign mills within the framework of compulsory milling. But the mountain mill was soon granted the concession to produce flour. According to the inventory, when it fell under the rule of the state in 1835, i.e. became royal, it already had all the furnishings for it.

In 1854 the obligation to use mills was finally abolished in the Danish state as a whole.
In 1859, the five royal mills in Flensburg, including the mountain mill, were to be sold. They were offered in the public market. For a long time no buyer was found for the Bergmühle.
In 1869 there was finally one, the mill builder Marx Friedrich Petersen from Flensburg.
At that time, the Bergmühle had 4 gears: 2 grinding gears for flour production and 2 peeling gears for the production of pearl barley.

In 1875 the mill was rebuilt. The upper taflement (upper end of the mill building) was increased by 50 centimeters. The mill received venetian blinds and an iron shaft instead of the previous ones made of oak.

Further owners:
1893 farmer Andreas Schlichting, 1913 Christian Hansen

In the same year, the grain store R. Jensen acquired the mill. Sometime between 1925 and 1929 the mill was again converted. The codend was replaced by a wind rose.
In 1930 Wilhelm Bremer and Hugo Christiansen bought the mill.
Until 1956, Bremer kept the Bergmühle running with wind power. Since the 1920s, an electric motor has been used as a propulsion system.
In 1956 severe storms forced the cessation of mill operations.
In 1959, gale-force storms damaged the mountain mill even more, the wings
broke off.
In 1965, Wilhelm Bremer, Flensburg’s last wind miller, died. After that the mill fell into disrepair.

In 1981 the „Association for the Preservation of the Bergmühle“ was founded. Willy Bartelsen was elected first chairman of the association. The goal was to make the mountain mill grindable again, since a lot of the original mill equipment was still there. Before that, however, the mill had to be purchased, statutes of association had to be worked out and the Bergmühle had to be declared a listed monument. The association should be recognized as a non-profit organization.

The Bergmühle was restored to its original condition at great expense in terms of time and money. Instead of venetian blinds, it again received sail wings, instead of the compass rose again a codend. The iron shaft and elevation of the upper table were preserved. The clapboard covering was replaced with slabs of slate.
The roofing ceremony was celebrated in 1990 and in 1992, for its 200th birthday, the mill received its new wings.

In 1994 the mill was able to produce baking grist in wind operation again.
In the mid-1990s, the dilapidated granary was also purchased and in 1996/1997 half of it was torn down and was rebuilt brick by brick.
The mill ensemble is complete again. Since 2004 it has also been possible to get married in the rustic ambience. Until 1999, Willy Bartelsen led the club with tireless commitment. This was followed by Heiko Schleppegrell, Franz Mahner, Frauke Schumacher and, since 2017, Jürgen Beuse.
Again, there were strong storms (Christian and Xaver 2013) that badly damaged the blades of the mountain mill and it was threatened to collapse again. In 2018, the „Association for the Preservation of the Bergmühle“ approached the city of Flensburg and ensured that a necessary renovation was planned and is now carried out.

First, a new gallery was built in 2018, since the beginning of 2019 the mountain mill has been renovated, it is getting a new cap, new slat wings and a wind rose. The work was supposed to start in spring 2020, the consequences of the spread of the corona virus have also changed these plans, and the cap was finally lifted in September.

With the completion of the mill (restored cap, windmill sails, wind rose) we had to wait until May 2022. In the presence of the press and television, numerous visitors were able to follow how a huge crane lifted both the canopy with the wind rose and the windmill sails onto the fuselage.

The landmark of the north of Flensburg is again a mill. It is operational and
characterizes the district significantly. There will be an inauguration party on the “Mühlentag” (Mill Day) 2022!

Why support the Bergmühle? How can the achieved be secured? What is currently happening at the Bergmühle during the year?
There are also the following events throughout the year: Open Monument Day, Thanksgiving Day, Mill Day, mill tours for schools, tourists…, readings, music events („Mill Enjoyment“), antique market, art exhibitions, private celebrations and festivities, conferences of neighbouring schools, Advent calendar, golden confirmation, bazaars, flea market, meetings of clubs and parties, game afternoons, regulars’ table…

Volunteer members of our association offer snacks and drinks for almost all events, surpluses are donated. We are grateful for further donations.

Our account for donations is:
Verein zur Erhaltung der Bergmühle e.V.
IBAN: DE72 2175 0000 0002 0033 33,
BIC: NOLADE21NOS

But the association does not only need donations. We are urgently looking for women and men, girls and boys, companies and institutions who care about the preservation of this old cultural asset.
Visit our homepage and register!

„Verein zur Erhaltung der Bergmühle e.V.“ – An der Bergmühle 7 – 24939 Flensburg www.bergmuehle-flensburg.com info@bergmuehle-flensburg.com