Windmill story

The windmill was built in 1899. Before that here was the first Eastern Orthodox Church in Kuressaare that burned down at the beginning of 1780s during the fire in the city.
This windmill was in working order until 1941. When the war began, the sails were sawn off in order to avoid the enemies to use then for signalling. It is known from the history that during World War I the French, using the sails, gave signals about the movement direction and even about the number of enemies to their own troops.
After the war, the windmill was used as a store, and the miller’s living area – in the left protrusion from the front view – as an apartment.

In order to improve the catering conditions in Kuressaare in connection with the increased number of tourists from the end of 1960s, the restoration of the windmill with the aim of using it as a café started in autumn 1972, architect Fredy Tomps. The interior design was made by architect Aet Maasik and the foreman and manager was Jaan Mitt. During the restoration the original structure of a Dutch stone windmill was attempted to preserve.
On 4 January 1974, Café Veski opened for visitors. Immediately after the opening, the café became one of the most popular places in our city, and at the moment we are the oldest operating catering establishment in Kuressaare. “Veski” is an architectural monument of national importance.

After Estonia had regained its independence, the windmill was returned to its legal owners who sold the windmill to Arensburg OÜ at the beginning of 1997.
Arensburg OÜ renovated the windmill in its original (1974) form and opened the national restaurant Veski in the building in 1997.
In 1999, the windmill celebrated its
100th anniversary.
In 2002, the kitchen area, ancillary rooms and technical rooms of the restaurant Veski were renovated and a large fireplace hall was built in the right wing to provide more convenience and additional seating to the guests.
In 2008, the inner courtyard of the windmill was finally completed.
In 2009, Veski was elected the Best Tourism Company of Saare County and in addition, it received the appreciation certificate “Deed of the Year in Culture” from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia for organizing folk music events.
Veski was recognised with the title Beautiful Home 2010 given by the Saare country and with the title Beautiful Home 2011 given by the President of the Republic of Estonia.
In 2014, Veski celebrated its 40th anniversary as an operating restaurant and the 115th anniversary of the windmill building.
Starting from April 2015, the windmill is called Saaremaa Veski (the Windmill of Saaremaa) and is known as the House of Local Tastes.