Mills in Alto Aragón — harinero, central eléctrica
is easily reached from Jaca
. Take the main road to Pamplona. After about 20 km
where the road bends right over the bridge (Puente La Reina de Sta Cilia de Jaca), don't
turn but continue straight-on towards Huesca. Almost immediately there-after is
signposted. Follow the narrow road for about 3 kms until you notice a
patch of trees not too far away to the right. It's before you'll reach the farm houses
and the bend towards the village. The mill is in fact two : a harinero, muy ruinoso
, and a powerstation with lots of interesting stuff.
The mill gets water from the Río Aragón.
(2) The powerstation with overgrown embalse
(3) Supply channel leading to the mill
allaruelo, in his must-read book Los Molinos
, gives a picture
of this mill's façade about ten years before our visit. Today the roof
is collapsed and the mill is hidden behind a thick green wall that is almost
impenetrable. We had to work (and work it was) our way through the
dense reedbeds into the drain-channel, then wade towards the mill and finally
slip through a window. Better bring a spare set of clothing if you plan to do
This must have been a most interesting mill. It's crying
to miller's heaven that this site is left to fall apart.
The watersupply channel
can carry quite some water. At least the
stretch between the tap at the Río Aragón and the mill is
very well maintained because it's the artery of the local irrigation system.
The canal longs the road and then turns away (pict. 4) to the mill situated
a bit lower and closer to the river. While the section next to the
road is rather shallow, the last stretch (pict. 3) has much higher
walls built with stones to compensate for the slope.
The embalse hosts
a lush vegetation. A valve (pict. 5) shunts the water away through one of the
cárcavo's (pict. 6). Normally the back wall of a cárcavo
is blind with one ore two nozzles (botanas), but here the back wall
of the cárcavo of the corn mill is half open making it possible to drain
superfluous water without dedicated extra channels.
(4) The canal - mill in the back
(5) Escape valve
are one of the most rewarding parts of this mill. They are deep and run
below the whole length of the construction. Both open with a nice arch.
The cárcavo of the powerstation features a second internal and lower
Both cavities appear
to be still solid, but the first cracks and loose stones are starting to appear.
Notice that the botana is a modern make built with an iron tube (pict. 8) - older
botanas are generally made of wood.
(7) Cárcavos : harinero (l), powerengine (r)
(8) Cárcavo of the flour mill