Mills in Alto Aragón — molino aceitero


Erdao is quite a remote spot but a visit to this site combined with the mill of Centenera and the castillo of Fantova will make for a rewarding day.
Leave Graus in northern direction towards Campo and Castejón de Sos. Turn right for La Puebla de Fantova. Once there do not enter the village, but continue straight-on towards Centenera. In the last bend before this mill turn right into the gravel and mud road. You'll drive through vineyards, then vegetable gardens and eventually will need to cross the Barranco de la Ribera. Don't worry, it's easy —at least when the weather is dry. You'll now follow the rivulet and slowly gain height until you'll reach kind of a plateau (1). Straight-on for Bafaluy, but we need the branch to the left. You'll soon find an old pila (2). Drop the car.

Pictures: 24.V.2007

(1) Location of the mill (blue arrow) relative to the village of Erdao (yellow) and Bafaluy (white)

(2) Pila = oil container made in stone.
Look out for a forgotten track leading north. You'll discover the ruins of the mill (3) after a few minute's walk. The roof couldn't stand the weight of time and several of the walls followed suit.

It's still possible —despite the sorry state— to recognize the main parts of this type of production unit.

Two small partitions against the eastern wall (5) probably were storage rooms (see f.e. Troncedo or Trillo (pict. 10))

(3) The mill of Erdao in a pitty state.

(4) Remains of the press
(5) Probably storage rooms

The press is the dominant feature in the remaining space (4). It's the good old type made of huge wooden beams (see Castilsabás for a nice example.) The upper half of main horizontal beam is completely rotten (6) and the rest won't last long. I couldn't find any dates or inscriptions which is rather unusual.
Dive under the beam (take care) and you'll find a large disc (9). It's this disc who rested on the mount of alternating mats and mash and transmitted the pressure.
The head of the press suffered badly but the caracol, the screw, turned to heighten the pressure survived and is clearly visible (8).

(6) The press
(7) Main beams of press
(8) Head of press

(9) underside of press
(10) Oil container

The niches in the western wall (4, 7) give room to a container each. Like in many mills the walls are lined with tiles (often red, sometimes white).
If you look carefully you'll notice that each individual tile is concave! I've never seen this before.

(11) Support for the crushing stone
(12) Stone to break the olives

(13) The art of connecting things

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