Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero, aceitero


Sieste is situated near Boltaña. Find Boltaña on the main road between L'Ainsa and Broto - Torla. Coming from L'Ainsa turn left just before you enter Boltaña towards Margudgued, cross the bridge and at the first branch turn right for Sieste. The road first meanders through the fields and then climbs up-hill. Drop the car at the crossroads leading into the village. Then walk back until you find the old path lined with stone walls. Walk this path and very soon you'll see the valley of the Río de Sieste with the mill in the depth. Continue your walk until you reach a point where the slope is less steep. You'll notice some bigger flat stones and a diffuse path going downward. Go down into the river bed and walk against the current to the mill.

Pictures: 27.xii.2006, 29.xii.2018

(1) Sieste (right on the hill) with white stroke pointing to its mill. — 2007

(2) The mill next to the Río de Sieste. — 2006
The mill took its water from the Río de Sieste. The supply channel is visible in (2) as the faint line starting at the pond and running to the center top of the picture. It then turns to the right behind the trees, but I couldn't find the exact point where the intake was.

The water was stored in the mill pond (3) situated at the back of the construction. The bunch of green trees at the right below the meadow in (2) are growing between the walls of the pond. The trees are making it difficult to get an overview but it is possible to enter the pond and then appreciate the impressive size and depth. It is surrounded by huge earthen walls which, in the corner leaning against the molino, are replaced by a wall built of regularly shaped natural stone blocks (3-4).

Two pressure pipes are present. One of these saetines is obstructed by silt, the other (4, 5) is wide open and shows clearly how its roof is built from large flat stones (5). You can look straight through to the wooden nozzle (botana).

(3) The mill pond = embalse. — 2018

(4) Inlet of the pressure pipe — 2018
(5) The pressure pipe = saetín. — 2018

(6) A twin wheel-house (=carcávo) with the usual window above. — 2018

(7) Carcávo left, below the mill stone — 2006
(8) Carcávo right, below the olive crusher. — 2006
Of the two wheel-houses one is two thirds full of silt (7) and no special features, except for the top of the axle, can be seen. This was the engine for the milling stones of the flour mill section.
In the other cárcavo only the wheel (rodete) is almost hidden below the mud but the nozzel (botana) and the axle (arbol) are still free and in good condition (9, 10). This rodete, with wooden blades, moved the olive-crusher of the oil mill.

(9) Nozzle & axle-tree — 2006
(10) Nozzle (=botana) — 2006


This mill is also described in:
Vanhercke, L. & Anselin, A. — 2019 — A la búsqueda de Molinos. Un molino en Sieste.
el Gurrión ii.2019, N° 154. Labuerda, I.S.S.N.: 1130-4960. pp.48–52.

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