Mills in Altoaragón - aceitero

Montesa

Montesa is situated north of Barbastro. At the time of our visit maps of the region weren't very trustworthy, but try some of the outgoing roads and you must hit the right way even­tually. You'll need the HU-V3532 leading to Hoz de Barbastro. After about 5 kms there is a branch to the right which would bring you to Cregenzán and after another 3 kms Montesa is signposted. From the crossroads at the entrance of the village, walk the gravel road to the north. The mill is within a short distance of the village on some maps marked with El Torno.

Pictures: 15.VIII.2010

(1) Landscape with mill (white circle) seen from the village.

(2) Looking towards Montesa village
(3) Entrance is at the short side

This is not a mill in good shape. Most of the walls stand upright, but half of the roof is gone. In the sec­tion under cover (left in 3) long forgotten tools are waiting to be discarded (4). With some digging a few esteras of the former olive business can still be found below the hay.

The bottom plate of the press lies outside next to the road (2, 5, 6). Nearby a big sign of a cross is carved. It looks like there is a head and also some weights hanging from the arms (top of page).

(4)

(5) Detail of wall (2) with cross sign
(6) Bottom plate of the former press

The deep part of the mill was probably set up as living quarters. A narrow stairway (4) leads up to what is now an empty space. The lower floor how­ever turned out to be quite interesting. It is kind of a kitchen space with the walls covered with mostly ornamental engravings (9). One side gives a frag­mentary report about the people who worked here many years ago.
I can't decipher it all, but apart from names and dates placed without clear relationship to each other (7), there is also information organized per year. The frame relating to 1940 (8) is particularly well pre­served. There is another one about 1918 where other villages (e.g. Sala Bajas, Naval) are mention­ed next to the names.

(7, 8) Many old (and new?) inscriptions on the walls report on the mill's past.

Joaquin Tornil
Joaquin Sanchez 17-2-23
Jesus Bistuer
Joaquin Ballabriga
El Año 1940
El Maestro Ygnacio Saxo
El ???dor José Naval
El moledor Julio Ballabriga

(9) Kitchen wall with ornamental engravings
(10) Milling stone lays lost elsewhere in the village.
Notice the combination of straight and curved ridges.


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