Mills in Altoaragón - harinero, central eléctrica
near Torla and the Ordesa National Park. You'll find the mill
on the left bank of the Río Ara at the northern fringe of the village a few steps away from the village church and the new school.
The mill takes its water from the Río Ara.
(1) Broto with its mill (white arrow) - Dec. 1992
(2) Powerstation (left, lower) with harinero
ll mills in the valley of the Río Ara
have at least one thing in common: there is no pond to store water (See f.e. Fiscal
, or Jánovas
The Río Ara always carries enough water to keep the stones
moving. The frustration of many millers, an unwanted stop and wait for an embalse
filling up, was unlikely to happen.
The mills share more characteristics which are typical for this way of working known as moler de fila
Running with the limited supply of the pond was moler de restañada
n order for the mill to behave
controllably a generous and uninterrupted watersupply was needed. The channel therefore is broad and deep
and ends in a rather big cubo
(see f.e. Lacort
). The depth and the size
of the cubo is meant to build up pressure and to smoothen out short hiccups
in the watersupply.
The slope of the Río Ara being
rather small the canal
of most mills is necessarily rather long to make for
a sufficient water column.
(3) Río Ara with start of channel
(4) Channel soon becomes broad and deep
(5) Trail runs along channel
Broto is no exception. About a quarter of the channel
is visible on pict. 1. Its position is shown by the tree-line running
from the mill to the right.
A trail next to it makes it easy to trace the channel towards
the point where the river is tapped. Recently work was carried out, but
it's not clear with what purpose exactly; maybe the plan to
restore the mill finally will become true.
The first few meters are not very clear: it looks like a tube was installed
to replace the original channel. I couldn't trace the tube but it could well be
the one emerging near the mill (11).
(6) Last stretch with earthen and stone wall
(7) Channel last stretch; notice roof of the mill
fter the disturbed stretch
the channel soon becomes broad and deep and is easily traced towards the mill (4-7).
At the mill the channel widens into a complicated construction of grids and valves and
cubos and tubes (8t). The latter are later additions to cater for the power station.
The former (8L,R) feed the grist mill and the old powerstation.
Most prominent are
the huge lockgates (8, L & R) each with a nice control wheel (8c & 9) and
separated by a wall protruding in the channel. The
wooden gates were placed behind a grid (8L & 10) in order to keep unwanted debris out.
Two enormous quadrangular cubos follow. Metallic rungs, cemented into the wall,
are leading down into the cubo. I couldn't reach them because of the trees. Perhaps next time with
A bit earlier in the channel, before
the grid are tube mouths (8t & 10): probably later additions from when a
powerstation was built next to the harinero.
At the left side (10) a valve is
still present. The situation at the other side is less clear. I couldn't find the start of
a second tube inside the channel (8t right), but the wall at that spot is open and at the
outside runs a tube (11) to one of the turbines.