Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero

Ena (Molino alto)

Ena is not very near to any of the main roads in the region. From Jaca take the narrow road (A1205) to the south and the Peña Oroel. Straight on where the Peña is sign­posted to the left. There aren't many villages along this road, so don't feel disturbed if the the road goes on and on and on. You'll pass Bernués and eventually after more than 25kms find a branch to the right towards Ena and Centenero. Just a few kms more and you'll reach your destination. The road makes a sharp turn to the right before entering the village.

From this point a circular walk, Ruta de los Molinos de Ena, is marked. Follow the signs until you recognize the site shown in pict. 1. The mill receives water from the Barranco de Ena.

Pictures: 6.I.2011

(1) Molino alto of Ena
(2) The former lake

The mill is only a small part of the huge construc­tion. All doors and windows were meticulously closed and barred or unreachable and I can there­fore only guess about the internal layout. You must round the building in order to find the mill proper (3, 5, 6). It looks like the remaining part serves as a summer residence.
The lake could hold an enormous amount of water. Pict. 2 is taken from the point where the canal enters the embalse and, with the mill in the background, gives an impression of its size. This is a dry region indeed and sufficient storage must have been im­por­tant, but I wonder if evaporation wasn't an issue with a lake of this size.

(3) Beautiful door
(4) Detail of the door
(5) Cárcavo

The mill has a separate gateway next to the house, but it's probably better to walk the path down to the river and make the approach from below. The main features on this side are the cárcavo (5) and the entrance (3) to the mill.

The entrance truly is a piece of art. First we have the stones bordering the opening; they are huge! Then look at the door itself (bigger image). The panel is covered with a plethora of drawings. There are geo­metrical shapes, hearts and birds (see top of this page) but the main theme is vegetable. The upper half of the door shows plants flowering in the shape of mill stones (4). The drawing in the middle could very well be a water-wheel. Everything should be done in order to protect this fine structure.

The cárcavo is spacious and empty apart from the botana (8, 9). The roof is solid but the back wall against the lake is crumbling down and roots are notably present.

Notice that control of the waterflow is different from all other mills. Take a look at the situation in e.g. Torrollualla de Obico (pict. 15) or Sarsa da Surta: the control rod there is mounted directly on the valve. Here we have a horizontal rod connected to the top (9) of the valve. One side of this rod is fixed to the wall and at the other end is the vertical which is commanded from the workfloor.

The outflow is not given back to the river. A channel along the river carries the water to the lake of the second mill.

(6) Embalse; mill proper is at the left
(7) The dam on the barranco de Ena

(8) Cárcavo
(9) Botana with valve


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