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

(1) Jánovas (black arrow) with its mill - 27.V.1992
Río Ara with the mills of Lacort and Jánovas

The molino of Jánovas has no pond to keep an amount of water to bridge dry periods. Water is fed directly from the canal to the turbine. This is a feature in common with most mills along the Río Ara (e.g. Fiscal, Broto, or Sarvisé). Typically the supply channel of these mills is rather long, in the case of Jánovas almost 1.5 km (see map).
Water from the river is funneled in by a low wall (8). The channel then follows the right riverbank and only slowly gains height. The walls are made of rocks, masonry and concrete at places (9). After about a third of its length it has to dip below a small tributary of the main river.

(8) Start of supply channel,
black arrow shows suspension bridge

(11) Channel splits to the mill (blue)
and right to the village (black arrow)

About halfway the channel meets the gravel road and the suspension bridge where one has made the most of the local situation (16). Really worth the effort to go down and take a closer look. After that the canal is enclosed between earthen walls (10) and gradually leaves the river-side and then with a sharp turn makes for the mill (see map).
Shortly after the turn the channel splits in two branches (11). One branch (11, center) continues towards the mill. The other branch takes a course more to the south and towards the village. It's named the canal del pueblo (11, right). From here the channel runs straight and makes only one sharp turn to the north where it reaches the mill (12, 13).

(12) Looking back to pict. 11
(13) Last stretch of channel

(14) Pressure pit

The head of the canal is about level with the second floor of the mill (14). Some flat stones (with slits for doors) make it possible to cross from one side to the other. A huge tube (15) brought the water down to the turbine. At the west side of the channel-head is a drain. It runs down and then below the powerstation and eventually joins the outflow of the cárcavos.
Both cárcavos are empty (17, 18). The cárcavo below the harinero (18 left) is full of silt and the outlet is obstructed. Presumably only the other one (17, 18 right), lying below the room separating the corn mill from the central, was still in use during the last active years of the mill.
The water first runs below the adjacent field before it reaches the river. (see pict. 4).

(16) Canal runs below slope of suspension bridge
(17) Cárcavo right
(18) Two Cárcavos

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