Mills in Alto Aragón


Banastás is a village in the Hoya de Huesca region, situated to the North of Huesca city. The mill is probably best approached from the road connecting Banastás with Yéqueda. From Huesca drive northwards on the N-330 or the A-23 (Autovía Mudéjar). If on the A-23 take exit 364 (Yéqueda). In Yéqueda turn left where you find the combination of a bus shelter (left) and a huge construction (Residencia de Mayores, right). You may find the sign for Banastás after you take the turn. Follow the narrow road and after some time you will cross the Río Isuela (1 top center). Now watch out for a tiny building at your left (white stroke in 1, 2). There is enough space to park your vehicle.

Pictures: 23.VIII.2015

(1) Banastás (l) and Yéqueda (r) with Caseta del partidor de Coliñenigue (white stroke) and
the mill (blue stroke). Notice the meandering Río Isuela — © PNOA-2020,

(2) Caseta del partidor de Coliñenigue with 2 outlets
The humble construction (2) known as the Caseta del partidor de Coliñenigue is built on the Acequia mayor de Huesca likely as a consequence of events happening during the 15th century (). In the first third of the 15th century the irrigation system of the river Isuela (hence also of Huesca city) was rebuilt. A new dam was erected in Nueno and a new irrigation ditch, which would become the Acequia Mayor, was dug on the right bank of the river. One section of Huesca's irrigation system, however, could not be serviced by this new ditch: the zone known as Coliñenigue (or Collenique on maps of It was situated on the other side of the river, on the left bank.

There was an older dam on the Isuela, just North of Igriés with a ditch on the left bank. For a very long time it was expected that Igriés let a sufficient amount of water pass through in order to answer the needs of Coliñenigue. The situation changed at the end of the 15th century, when the system was born which is still in use today. From then on Coliñenigue would receive its water from the Acequia Mayor on the right bank. To make that possible a new stretch of ditch was dug and it ran from the acequia back to the river Isuela.
Through this channel a part of the water was resti­tuted to the river. Downstream from the restitution point a new dam was built on the Isuela and connected with the acequia de Coliñenigue. What was not restituted flew out eventually into the Alberca de Cortés (). In order to avoid undesired interference with the settings a small hut was erected over the switching equipment (el partidor). It was the precursor of the present Caseta del partidor de Coliñenigue.

(3) Caseta del partidor de Coliñenigue (inlet); mill in blue circle.

From here we can walk along the irrigation ditches towards the former mill. The first stretch of the canal is clearly defined and built with concrete and it is easy to walk on the edges (4).
Farther on the walls are earthen (5) and a trifle more tricky to negotiate, certainly where the river comes closer and the terrain more humid, but it should be possible to reach the site of the mill easily.


(6) The former work floor with the pressure pit.

The mill is entirely dismantled. Only the end of the canal and the pressure pit (cubo) remain.

(7) End of the canal with the pressure pit (East).

(8) End of the canal with the pressure pit (West).

(9) Top of the pressure pit.

(10) Canal entering the pressure pit.


 Carlos Garcés Manau & José Antonio Cuchí Oterino — 2008 — Historia de la acequia Mayor de Huesca (siglos XII a XVII) De una orilla a otra del Isuela. Anales de la Fundación Joaquín Costa, N° 25: 59-100

 We have seen this Acequia Mayor and the Alberca de Cortés on some other places too: the oil mill of Arascués and the molino de Cortés (Chimillas) and Morana (Huesca).

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