The Bishop’s Mill

Dinkel is a word I only knew in German until I visited the Bishop’s Mill in Maastricht. Dinkel is a special kind of grain, related to wheat, which in former times was quite common in Europe and is now considered something of a health food. Dinkel-bread is a dark bread with a pleasant nutty taste. I often eat Dinkel-bread in Germany, where it is freshly baked in our neighborhood supermarket.

After visiting the Bishop’s Mill I looked up the word Dinkel and was surprised to find that the English word for it is spelt, which I would never have guessed. In Dutch it is also called spelt, but in French it is l’épautre.

The Bishop’s Mill (de Bisschopsmolen in Dutch) is advertised as “the first 100% spelt bakery in the Netherlands”. Some (but only some) of the spelt flour they use here is milled on the premises using water power from a small river called the Jeker, which turns a traditional millwheel.

The rest of the flour is milled where it is grown, in a nearby cooperative called Kollenberger Spelt, where traditional water power is also used to some extent. The owners of the Bishop’s Mill say they “especially value the cooperation between grower, miller and baker — the oldest production chain in the world.”

Gears turned by water power in the Bishop’s Mill

The Bishop’s Mill is said to be the oldest working watermill in the Netherlands. It was fully renovated in 2004.

Street entrance to the Bishop’s Mill

Address: Bisschopsmolen, Stenenbrug 3, 6211 HP Maastricht

My photos in this post are from 2015. I revised the text in 2019.

See more posts on Maastricht, the southernmost city in the Netherlands.

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