Mills in Altoaragón - harinero, central eléctrica


Find Lacort on the road between L'Ainsa and Broto. Coming from Broto, pass Sta. Olaria de Ara and from then on look out for the suspension bridge. Lacort is on your left side. The flour mill is about half way between the road and the river opposite the village.
The mill got its water from the Río Ara.

Pictures: XII.1989, XII.1995 and IV.2007

(1) Harinero of Lacort
Río Ara with mill and channel

Half of the construction is occupied by the mill. The other half, with the windows, housed the living quarters of the miller. The outlet of the cárcavo is situated below the door at the left. The drain runs towards the camera.
On page 277 of La Solana is a picture of the same mill during the 1950s. Since then no changes were made at the outside of the building.

(2) Río Ara with inlet of supply channel
(3) Channel in concrete tube to cross tributary


This is one of the best canals I ever saw . It starts at the left riverbank more than a kilometer upstream from the mill (see map, 2). Very soon the channel meets a tributary of the Río Ara. There the water is lead in a concrete tube (3) and resurfaces at the other side from where it continues its way between earthen walls (4) sometimes provided with doors (5) to drain the water back to the river or into the irrigation system.
The channel eventually arrives at a noria (water­wheel) and a communal washing place (6). At least that was the case in 1995. But you can't trust local people to protect their common heritage. The wash­board is broken to pieces and dumped against the noria or ploughed under (see 7: the bridge of p. 6 is bottom right in p. 7; some forgotten debris is also visible).

(6) Washing place — 1995
(7) Situation in 2007

(8) Channel
(9) Channel, next stretch

After the (deceased) washboard the channel turns right (depth of pict. 6, 8) before it becomes a solid aqueduct (9) crossing the access road to the mill. The channel then turns left again before it splits in two branches, one feeding the harinero and the other one the turbine. The channel ends in a cubo (12), which is a device meant to build up more pressure in a high water column. It's easy to appreciate the height of the column knowing that the top of the cubo is situated only little below the top of the roof (1). Other interesting cubos are found in Centenera, Nueno, Las Bellostas etc.
An embalse to keep an amount of water in stock was not needed: the Río Ara is never without. The mill could run with what water was fed directly from the river. It was said that the mill muele de fila. When a miller had to wait for an embalse to fill first people said that the mill muele de restañada.

(10) Channel, next stretch
(11) Channel, next stretch

(12) Channel ending in cubo
La Solana - Vida cotidiana en un valle altoaragonés
by Carlos Baselga Abril - 1999 - ISBN 84-605-8764-9
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