Mills in Altoaragón - harinero, central eléctrica


Jánovas is situated in the Solana region between Boltaña and Fiscal on the main road between L'Ainsa and Torla. The mill is best reached from Lacort. Coming from Boltaña you'll first reach the panoramic viewpoint of Jánovas, then the branch to Yeba and San Martín and after a while you'll reach a narrow turn to the right with a (the first) house at the left. At that spot a track brings you to a suspension bridge over the Río Ara. Drop the car. Cross the bridge and walk to the left where you'll find the channel leading to the mill. First follow the path and then the tree-line along the channel. It's perhaps a good a idea to try first to locate the mill from the road (pict. 1).
The mill takes water from the Río Ara.

Pictures: 1.III.2007 and 11.IV.2007

(3) South-east corner with oven
(19) Corn sifter cleaner

One entrance (3) serves both parts of the mill. From the door you'll step directly into the wheat mill. First thing that strucks the eye is a corn sifter dominating the place (19). It's amazing, considering the dreary environment, how fresh and healthy the look of this machine. Notice how the light unwanted fraction is directly blown away in the open through an opening in the eastern wall. We've found similar (but smaller) grain cleaners in f.e. Castillazuelo, Yésero and Fiscal.
The situation in the rest of the mill hurts the eye. But by the look of the poor remains, this must have been a very industrious and efficient environment. Corn sifter and bolting machine (21) were mechanized and products were transported by bucket-belts inside wooden cases (23). There are two stone couples, according to Carlos Baselga Abril one for flour for bread and the other grinding meal for fodder.

(21) Bolting machine with two stone pairs

(22) Harinero with passage to central
(23) Parts of a bucket-belt

Luis Buisán Villacampa in his book () about the region gives a nice account about life at Jánovas' mill from the customer's viewpoint.

... Going to the mill meant an early rise. It was very important to be there as one of the first. We left our home with our heavily loaded horses and with the stars still in the sky. Sometimes the full moon provided enough light to negociate the tortuous and stony tracks. For dark nights we had lanterns (and the beauty of the morning star).

It happened that someone arrived at the mill before sunrise - or even before day-break, after an hour long nightly walk - and had to wait until the miller got out of his bed. In the meantime more people arrived and a queue was formed.

You never knew if you would be alone waiting at the mill or one of the many. That depended on luck and the necessities of people in the different villages. Such things could not be planned. The mill was the perfect spot for a casual encounter where you never knew who you would meet. ...

(translated from Spanish)

(5) North and west wall with powerstation
The mill of Jánovas once was important providing electricity to most of the villages in the Solana. Read Carlos Baselga Abril for more information.

Apart from some insulators, all equipment connected with the production of electricity has been taken away.

(24) Generator room
(25) Old bearings

(26) Insulators inside
(27) Insulators on outside wall

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