The water power of the waterfalls of Edessa has shaped its special geophysical environment and favored the development of the crafts and industry. Since ancient times the area’s inhabitants processed agricultural products and took advantage of Edesseos river motion energy installing a watermill thus ensuring basic products for their nutrition developing textile, silk craft etc. In the waterfall area there were organized the first water power industrial buildings, flourmills, sesame mills, water mills and tanneries.
In the area of Mills (Myloi area), which is characterized as a historic site, many buildings of the industrial area of Edessa were restored creating an Open Water Museum, with particular cultural, historical and tourist value for the city. There we can find many historical monuments such as the building of Salampasis flourmill, a unique sample of water wheel of vertical movement with the restored watermill (Batani) just outside the building. Currently there is an Environmental Education Centre with an important role in the educational process, and sensitizes students on environmental issues. On the ground floor of the stone building, there are three pairs of millstones, the original large wooden container, the machine which cleans the flour, the washing machine, conveyor belts and the hopper into which the sacks were emptied. Next to it there is the Karanikolas Tannery, one of 6 preserved monuments of Mills Area. It is a proto-industrial building, particularly important for the study of the evolution of architecture. Tanneries used to be built in coastal areas or in areas where there was plenty of running water, which is essential for the treatment of skin. Today it houses the activities of the Centre of Environmental Education Edessa, of the country’s most active and dynamic CEE.
In the Open Air Water Museum, we also meet the Giannakis watermill, that has specially shaped cement grooves and mill grooves leading the water to the mill which set in motion by the “fan” for milling the grain. Today the mill building serves as Aquarium - Reptilarium. In the same area there is Pertsemlis Sesame Mill, which also has been renovated and now serves as an interactive space (Mill of Flavors), where visitors can come into contact with the production process of sesame products and to be informed on local products. Moreover, in this area there is also Arditsoglou Sesame Mill (Mill of the Water and of the 5 Human Senses), which horizontal metal fan was restored that set the millstones and other equipment in motion. Furthermore, in the Open Water Museum there is an open air cinema and a shopping and cultural center. The Open Air Water Museum is a well-equipped space where visitors revive the production process of another era as through the area’s buildings i and through the network of water routes and people.
Finally, the Hemp factory building complements the museum's facilities. The building is located at a lower level than the other and can be reached either by a lift or by stone paths. The Hemp is a water-powered textile mill that used to produce ropes and twine of hemp. It consists of repetitive building blocks with double roofs that create triangular and has large windows with transoms. In the building there is a packing department, the raw material storage department, the production department and the department of the workshop and boiler room.
The reuse and rehabilitation of water power workshops and factories in Mills area is a very important initiative towards the promotion of the city’s unique proto industrial monuments and the preservation of its history.