Mills in Alto Aragón — molino harinero


Ara a village not far from Jaca is easily reached from the N-330 between Jaca and Sabiñanigo. Take the branch for Navasa (HU-V-3011), cross this village, and continue for about 6 km on the same road until you reach a roundabout where Ara is signposted. Leave your vehicle at the entrance of Ara, near the Centro Social or the church. Walk to the other side of the village, to the West. Do not take any of the streets going down into the valley. Stay more or less level, and you will soon find the mill not too far away from the village (1). The mill is also known as el molino de los monjes.

Pictures: 27.xii.2002; 26.ix.2021

(1) The mill of Ara in the valley of the Arroyo de Abena — 2021

(2) The mill still with its roof of flat stones (losas) — 2002

(3) The mill with a new roof — 2021

(4 – 5) Inscriptions in the big stone right side of the door in (3).

(6) The mouth of the cárcavo.
(7) Inside the cárcavo.

(8) The ejector = botana
(9) Mouth of cárcavo seen from inside.

(10) Pressure pit = cubo — 2002

This is one of the more impressive pressure pits of our study area. This cubo is about 4 m deep —I guess, I didn't take measurements. The top two thirds are open to the pond; only the lower third is a closed cilinder. In Pallaruelo (, p. 39) a sketch is shown of this mill. Other similar, and interesting, cubos can be seen in Aguinalíu, Las Bellostas, Alcampell, and Caserras del Castillo.
The mill pond in 2002 was still clearly defined (13) and wide open: its size was about 45 m by 15 m and the space was almost not invaded by any shrubs.
During the time between our visits trees and shrubs have grown taller and the space has visibly shrunk (14). The process may even accelerate after the fence is completed: sheep won't be able to keep the vegetation short.

(11) The mill pond narrowing towards the pressure pit — 2021

(12) Pressure pit = cubo — 2002

(13) The mill pond = embalse — 2002

(14) The canal arriving at the mill pond — 2021

The canal arrives at the far end of the pond. It runs below the path (below the person and between the stones right and left in 14). It then longs the path, soon arrives in the river bed and then disappears: probably eaten by the current.
Rocks falling down from the cliff along the rivulet may also have been a problem. We've found some rusty tubing: maybe at some point tubes were needed to supply the mill reliably with water.

(15) The dam = azud — 2002

The dam is built about 150 m upstream from the pond (15). It is a mix of natural rock and layers of concrete (16).

(16) The dam = azud — 2002

(17) The dam already partly overgrown — 2021

†: Pallaruelo Campo, Severino – 1994 – Los Molinos del Altoaragón.
Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses (Diputación de Huesca) – ISBN: 84-8127-013-X

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