Beloci water mill restored with EU and UNDP support
December 21, 2022
A water mill dating from the late 19th century has been restored with the support of the EU Confidence Building Measures Programme, implemented by UNDP Moldova. Selected through a public competition conducted by the EU and UNDP in 2020, the mill is one of the 10 cultural historical sites on both banks of the Nistru river that benefit from restoration and conservation works.
While there are only ruins of water mills left in Moldova, the longstanding Beloci mill is still holding by the Beloci river. This is the biggest mill in the region, which has been preserved fairly well over the years. When it was in operation, the Beloci water mill produced several types of flour.
“Last time the mill was running was in 2000, when because of the frosts we had no power, no heat, not even water. That is why we put the mill into operation to produce flour. Today, if we put enough effort and resources into it, it could be restored both architecturally and operationally. This is what we intend to do,” says Alexander Maleandra, owner of the water mill.
The construction of the Beloci mill was started by a villager, then after it had been bought by a Polish manufacturer, the works continued and were completed. The mill's equipment was brought from Zürich, Switzerland; it remains in its original form, but needs repair and parts’ replacement to make the mill operational again.
“The mill is crafted of a wooden frame, which basically holds the entire construction. The real difficulty was to replace the basic elements and restore them to their previous condition. We follow all the rules of restoration, i.e. the wood that was used was cut in the same way and we tried to use the same joint elements that were used before,” says Iurii Krikliveț, deputy director of the construction company.
Thanks to restoration and conservation works, the mill will be protected from adverse weather conditions and will last for at least another 20-30 years. The area around the mill, by the Beloci river, has also been landscaped.
“We could attract tourists to come here. The mill is intriguing, since it was built without any metal or cement, any nails, just stone on stone. For that period, it's a great construction. The original equipment is still in place and serves as museum exhibits,” says Alexander Maleandra, the owner of the water mill.
The Beloci water mill was restored thanks to the financial support provided by the European Union as part of Confidence Building Measures Programme implemented by UNDP. The programme contributes to building trust between the people on both banks of the Nistru river by involving them in joint development projects.