Waterwheels

P1150953 (2)

 Getting ready for the 1st of May
 P1130239 (2)On the outskirts of Germany’s Franconian Switzerland region, the largest cohesive area of sweet cherry orchards in the European Union, is the village of Möhrendorf (“Carrot Village” if you will) on the Regnitz River: home to one of the last working waterwheel irrigation systems in Central Europe.
Initially built in around 1300 based on a principle thought to have been imported (by returning Crusaders) from Egypt and Mesopotamia, the maintenance of the ten Möhrendorf waterwheels is now the work of the Möhrendorf Waterwheel Association whose charming website – complete with English version – is well worth a browse:

 http://www.schoepfraeder.de/english/index.htm

Each comprising some 600 individual wooden parts and held together with wooden nails and wedges, one wheel produces the equivalent of 40 tankers in one day, from May to September, when they are then dismantled and put away for the winter – every year.

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