Did you know that Vincent van Gogh made as many as seven sketches of the Roosdonck windmill (built in 1884) in Nuenen while he lived in the village from 1883 to 1885? However, he refused to paint this pictoresque windmill as he simply disliked new buildings.
The mound mill was constructed by Anthony van Himbergen in 1884 and suffered a series of demoliltions and restoration works throughout its existence. The grandfather of current miller Hennie Merks bought the windmill in 1903.
The windmill’s guestbook is signed by visitors from the USA, South Korea, Uganda, Spain, Nepal, Ukraine and Colombia.
A replica of the Roosdonck windmill can be found at Nanjing Green Expo Garden in China, among replicas of other Dutch buildings.
Van Gogh in Nuenen
In 1882 Theodorus van Gogh, Vincent’s father, became a pastor in Nuenen and the family lived at the rectory there. After staying in Drenthe for several months, Vincent moved to Nuenen to live with his parents. From December 1883 to May 1885 Vincent lived and worked in Nuenen.
Tips for your visit to Nuenen
At the park simply called ‘Park’ you can find a bronze statue of Vincent van Gogh as he used to walk through town clutching his sketchpad. At the base of the statue is a plaque with the words: “En het Brabant dat men gedroomd heeft, daar komt de werkelijkheid soms al heel dichtbij” (free translation: ‘And the Brabant that one dreamed of, that sometimes comes very close to reality’). The statue is located near the junction of Park and Vincent van Goghstraat.
A life-size sculpture of the famous Potato Eaters can be found at the same Park in the center of Nuenen. The bronze sculpture has been given a rough finish which accurately reflects Van Gogh’s characteristic brush strokes.
The lady who’s back is facing the viewer in the painting has been given a face; she is praying and saying grace before the meal. The Potato Eaters sculpture is located near the junction of Park and Kerkstraat.
Opening hours Roosdonck windmill
De Roosdonck windmill is open every Saturday from 10.00 to 15.00. When you see the windmill operating outside these opening hours, you can also visit the windmill.
During opening hours you can buy organic products like wheat flour, spelt flour, semolina, dried yeast, pancake mix and honey.
The windmill charges no admission fee, but donations are welcome.
Windmolen de Roosdonck
5674 SG Nuenen