Mills in Alto Aragón — aceitero


Castarlenas is an abandoned village in the vicinity of Torres del Obispo about halfway between Graus and Benabarre (Ribagorza region). However, there is no need to walk the walk because what remains of the installations is on display right in the city center of Graus.

Pictures: 17.VIII.2013

(1) The oil mill of Castarlenas on the Plaza de la Compañía in Graus.

On display are an impressive cantilever press (a prensa de palanca) next to the milling station where the olives were crushed. There is also an interpret­ative panel telling some facts about Castarlenas and explaining the process of oil extraction (Spanish only).
Though I prefer to find this kind of contraptions in situ I am still most happy with this kind of display. It is much better than the all too frequent situation where a mill —even when close to a village— is left alone and rapidly becomes a sorry heap of rubble (e.g. Formigales, Aguinalíu, Erdao).

(2) Free end of the lever with tuerca and caracol
(3) Fixed end of the press

The press carries two date marks. At the base of one of the virgenes (vertical beams, pict. 3) at the fixed end the year 1930 can be found written in a box. A bit higher there is a circle drawn with the number 42 inside.
At the same side but then on the palanca near the head of the press we can read ANO 1871 and near­by again Año followed by something I can't decode.

Notice that the beams forming the lever are made from a single stem each! In many cases com­posed beams were used (e.g. Aguinalíu, Trillo, Formigales).

(4-5) Embalse where the olives were crushed.

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