Mills in Alto Aragón — molino aceitero

Las Almunias de Rodellar

Las Almunias de Rodellar lies just south from Rodellar, one of the hot spots in the Sierra de Guara. You should find it on any map of the region. Leave the car in Almunias. Then walk the road down to Pedruel. Take the path to the left when you reach the river after about one km. Continue your walk to the South looking to the left for some small constructions at the base of the hill. The rusty press gives the position of the mill away.

Pictures: iii.2000

(1) The oil mill of Las Almunias de Rodellar in the landscape.

(2) The oil mill: the screw of the press is just visible above the entrance.

(3) Left: the storage for fresh olives — Right: barely visible the top of the screw of the press.

(4) Base of the press (regaifa)
with vessel for the fresh oil
The mill is very dilapidated; the roof has collapsed and only the outer walls are still standing, and its contents are barely visible under the bushes and the debris. Some elements of the layout can still be recognized however.

The press is situated opposite the entrance (2). It is a cast iron press, a type which in the 2nd half of the 19th century became a popular replacement for the much larger cantilever presses (e.g. Castarlenas) and the more compact types with wooden screw (e.g. Sieste). Similar specimens where found in Mipanas and La Muela, among others.

Next to the bottom plate of the press (regaifa) a vessel, lined with white tiles, has been excavated (4). It collected the oil/water mix that later would be separated in stone decanter vessels.

The inner side of the front wall, next to the entrance (left in 3) is lined with two, or three, containers (5, algorines) where fresh olives were stored waiting to be processed. In some mills, some growers had their own algorín which was then marked with a tile showing the name of the owner (e.g. Castilsabás).

(5) Storage for olives waiting to be processed.

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