Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero, aceitero, central eléctrica


Centenera is easily reached from Graus. Leave Graus in northern direction towards Campo and Castejón de Sos. Turn right for La Puebla de Fantova. Once there do not enter the village, but continue straight-on towards Centenera and Abenozas. The construction is next to the road just before you cross the Barranco de la Ribera (or de Pinares). Our latest visit was on invitation of the owners who did quite a good job in removing the luxuriant vegetation, making it a much easier job for us than in 1998.

Pictures: I.1998, 08.III.2004

(1) The mill in the landscape.
(2) Aceitero left - Harinero and powerstation right.

This (1) will be your first sight of the mill if you are coming from La Puebla de Fantova. The mill is in fact three mills and a bakery all in one. The highest part counts four storeys. The lower three floors are still fine but the fourth floor (just under the roof and with many windows) is rotting away.
The living quarters were situated on this top floor. The next floor houses the bakery and the former flour mill. Below that was the power generator and at the bottom rests the old turbine. The second, and lower part of the complex, was fitted up as an oil mill. The oil mill contains all the regular furniture, some of it state of the art of its time.

The wall facing the road (3) only features windows where the living quarters are. The wall at the level of the harinero shows a blind doorway. At the other side is a staircase leading to the top floor. This was probably a direct entrance to the miller's home and became obsolete after the road got a new layer.

You'll have to do some walking to get an under­standing of the waterworks. But, trust me, you won't regret the effort. Walk a bit back toward Fantova and find a spot where you can climb the terraces. Walk back. You'll soon recognize the embalse. From there it's easy to trace the channel.

(4) The dam - azud.
(5) First meters of the channel - canal.

The dam (4) is built of nice and regularly shaped stones. The channel starts at the left bank side of the dam and is carefully maintained, because it's used to water the fields. Irrigation is limited to when the Barranco de Pinares holds water, though. Because lots of mud and stone are captured behind the wall, the capacity of the pond (embalse) is reduced to almost nothing.
Tracing the channel back to the mill you'll even­tually arrive at the pond which isn't very deep current­ly. I think that the pond may always have been rather shallow, but this was compensated by the size. It's now invaded by reed-grass and cat's tail. Work your way to the other side and reach the dam which is built on a promontory. Try to locate the mill and peer down. You are standing on top of the pressure pit.

(6) The canal.
(7) More of the canal.
(8) Cubo towers above the mill
top of cubo = top-right of picture.

(9) The water reservoir - embalse.
(10) Arrows showing top of cubo and cárcavo.

(11) Interior of the pressure pit
(pict. Andela & Schoonebeek).
You are at the point where the upper white arrow in (10) is pointing to. A short canal (with valve) brings the water from the lake to an impressive pressure pit (cubo). A cubo is used to create a high water column to build up more pressure to move the wheels. I have very few seen as deep like this. Look at the difference (10) between the top of the cubo and the cárcavo down below where the turbine is waiting. (Other fine pressure pits can be found in Nueno, Las Bellostas, Morana, and more.)

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