Watermills in Altoaragón


Naval is renowned for its potteries. From the main road between L'Ainsa and Barbastro turn right in Abizanda where Naval is signposted. At the foot of the hill with Naval, take the left branch (don't enter the village) and drop your car in the first bend where a small drive leads down to the equally famous Salinas. Walk down, cross the river (one step will do) and follow the path to the right (downstream). You'll pass the Salinas at the other side of the river, reach some higher trees and end into the riverbed. Walk downstream (to the left) for the dam only a couple of minutes away. Cross the river and follow the earthen road that longs the river (first up and then slowly down again) until you reach the riverbed once again. The mill is at the other bank of the Río Llastre.

Pictures: 16.VIII.2002

Mill in the valley of the Río Llastre Mill from aside with both reservoirs
The mill is an empty case. Only the outer walls are still upright. I wonder for how long. I couldn't enter. I tried from below working my way through the dense scrub, but failed miserably and under scratches. The house may be empty, but there is still a lot to discover outside. The mill has two water storage bays. The lower reservoir (yellow arrow) built from masonry, natural rock and earth is probably the oldest one. The upper reservoir (red arrow) is much smaller and made from concrete.

The balsas are level with the third floor high above the river. It is possible to climb the wall, though. There is a door from where you can overview the debris of all floor levels at once.

A dense vegetation in the balsa makes it difficult to move around. Observe the supply channel leading to the upper reservoir (cyan), the upper part of the mill (magenta) and the saetín (yellow) where the water falls down to turn the wheels in the cárcavo much lower.

The dam where the water is captured is very well preserved. From there a long channel follow the contours of the ridge. Maximum use was made of the local situation. Some parts are open, other stretches are enhanced with a tube.

Empty skeleton

Upper channel and balsa seen from lower balsa Lower balsa with upper entrance to the mill.

Given that the Río Llastre almost never carries much water the small upper balsa probably wasn't of much use. The lower balsa is much bigger and could move the stones much longer. However, it must have taken quite some time to fill it up again after the mill ran dry.

The azud where the supply channel starts. Part of the supply channel is a tube.
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