Mills in Alto Aragón - aceitero


Ayera is a village near the city of Huesca — find it in north-eastern direction. From Huesca take the road towards Barbastro and Siétamo. You'll pass Quicena. Turn left to Loporzano and Bandalies. Keep following Bandalies and Sipán. Beyond the former take the branch where Ayera is signposted. Drive through the village towards the graveyard and drop your vehicle. Walk the sand road further down towards the mill (1).

Pictures: 24.V.2011

(1) Entrance of the Molino de Ayera. The Sierra de Guara in the background.

(2) Side and back wall.
(3) Balsa where olives were crushed.
At the time of our visit the mill was closed with chains and padlocks. But since the molino must have been shut down quite some time ago, they do not offer any real protection.
Part of the roof is missing and the wall at the back is wide open to the elements. The contents were rather well preserved but the situation is deteriorating rapidly.
The mill is one of the very few surviving with the original large beam press (prensa de viga, 6) in good shape. Similar con­trap­tions are found in e.g. Trillo, Coscojuela de So­brar­be, Sta Eulalia la Mayor and some other places, but all are only poor shades of their past. Beam presses who made it to this day can be seen in e.g. Castilsabás (Hoya de Huesca) and Panillo (La Fueva) where they form now the show piece of the local museum site.

(4) Interior: east side
(5) Interior: west side

(6) The beam press
On the western wall near the entrance a large drawing can be found (7). It is one of the most ela­borated scenes I've ever seen. There are several people under weird caps and wielding swords, dag­gers, knives and several fire arms. A person falls under the bullets spat out by an outsized and ancient weapon held by a peculiar person. There are more stray bullets, a gecko and there is also a huge dog. There are several texts, but apart from Antonio nothing is clear enough to decipher. It's not a friendly scene; rather nightmarish in fact.

Is this phantasy or the evocation of a real incident?

(7) Story told on the western wall (5).

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