Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero

Bara

Bara definitely is a remote spot.
•1) From Sabiñánigo drive south to Huesca until you reach Lanave. Turn left where Boltaña is signposted. Soon the Molino de Villobas will be indicated and a bit further on the road towards Nocito. •2) You could also from Boltaña take the road to Lanave. Cross the Río Ara and a long and winding road will bring you to the Molino de Escartín. Look out now for the Nocito branch. From the point where You'll leave the main road it's 12 km of dirt road (make sure you have enough clearance!) to Nocito where Bara is signposted. •3) There is also a metalled road from the Puerto de Monrepos over Belsué to Nocito.

From Nocito 13 more kilometers of rather good gravel road lay ahead. Walk from the church down to the river (Río Alcanadre) and against the stream. Stay on the right bank.

All pictures: 05.VI.2000

Molino de Bara

©Instituto Geográfico
Nacional de España
The mill is hidden between the lush vegetation in the valley of the still very young Río Alcanadre. As far as we know the only mill further upstream on the Alcanadre is the watermill of Matidero. Further downstream we have f.e. the flour mill of Las Almunias de Rodellar.

A dam is built at a narrow of the river located at about 450m from the mill (the black dash and pict. 1). The resulting lake holds a massive volume of water. There is secondary smaller dam about halfway to the mill. A spacious canal brings the water to a second reservoir (embalse) close to the mill (2).

The construction of Bara's mill is very simple. There is one rather big room with the mill stones and a smaller annex, probably used to stall the mules. No living quarters for the miller. We have seen a similar mill in Abellada but also in f.e. Letosa, Torrolluala del Obico or Aso de Sobremonte. The wide open cárcavo is a characteristic feature of the region.

(1) Azud on the Río Alcanadre
(2) Reservoir; arrow points to the mill

(3) Embalse towers above molino
(4) Overview of the site
(l-r) embalse, annex, molino, Alcanadre

The embalse (2) is rather big and deep for such a small mill. Pictures 3 and 4 show how the builder made the most of the local situation. The reservoir lies a bit above the mill and the very thick walls reach as high as the roof.

This configuration makes the reservoir function as an embalse (container) and also as a cubo (a device to build pressure by the water column, see also the mill of Morana).

Shrub and reed now fills the reservoir which still performs some of its former function: some people of Bara now tap the pond and with a long tube bring the water to their kitchen.

The workplace isn't very spacious and has a single window looking out over the river. There are two (6, 7) doors located opposite to each other in the short walls.

(5) Idle bedstone in foreground.
(6) Complete production unit

The workplace at the time of our visit was rather clean for a desolated construction. The room is dominated by an elevation where originally two pairs of milling stones were at work. One of the sets was removed from duty (the bedstone is at the forefront in pict. 5).

The remaining unit (6) is almost complete with a runner stone, a tolva (funnel), a guardapolvo (dust cover) and at the outlet a nice farinal (box receiving the fresh flour, 7) with a cruz (detail at top of page) which was the support for the sacs to be filled.

We have seen a similar configuration in the molino of Humo de Muro before the roof collapsed. Notice that the guardapolvo there was round while our specimen here counts 8 sides (like in Las Almunias de Rodellar and Yésero).

The cárcavo is very wide open and still in good solid shape. There is only one wheel present (metallic, 9). The backwall shows the first signs of erosion and exposes the connection between the cubo and the cárcavo. The botana (inlet-pipe cum nozzle) is made from wood (9, 10).

(7) Farinal with cruz.
(8) Cárcavo with rodete and command rods

(9) Metallic wheel with wooden botana
(10) Botana (nozzle)

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