Mills in Altoaragón - fábrica, central

Salvatierra de Esca

Salvatierra de Esca is a small village in the Jacetania region.
From Jaca take the N-240 to Pamplona. If you are on the A-21 take exit 65 and then follow the N-240 to the West. After some time you'll reach a branch where Roncal (A-137) is signposted. Leave the main road and you'll first pass Sigüés and after 8 km reach Salvatierra. Follow the road towards Roncal. About 600 m past the village there is a sharp turn to the left and then a sharp turn to the right. Between both curves a gravel road leads down into the valley of the river Esca. It is perhaps best to drop your vehicle at the start of this gravel road and walk the rest of the distance to the mill which is about 400 m away. All that remains of the mill is an empty carcass.

Pictures: 7.x.2018

(1) The mill next to the río Esca © SIGPAC vii.2003 —

At the time of our visit nothing much remained of this mill, apart from the outer walls. Not really a surprise because the business was shut down in the mid 1950s () and was abandoned thereafter.

Unfortunately, due to a combination of circum­stances, virtually nothing of the content was preserved.

The sad story is told in the article () referenced at the bottom of this page. At that time is was thought the building could be saved by a carmelite nun who would found a com­munity there. She was given the mill for a symbolic price. But all that happened was she threw all the equipment outside. The project was a failure and the, now empty, mill was even­tually sold to the City Council of Salvatierra.

(2) The mill and its surroundings.

The article (, in Spanish) gives a very detailed history of the mill and its operators. We will only mention a few points here.

⦿ In the mid-19th century a new mill was built on the ruins of an older one. The mill had one pair of stones. The history is very complex with many different owners and agreements between them. However, in 1929 the mill was doing well and it was decided to install a flour factory using the Austro-Hungarian milling system. Contrary to expectations, the factory was never profitable.

⦿ The old stones would from now on be used to grind animal feed. A saw mill was also installed. The stones came from Alexandre Fauqueux of La Ferté. We have seen the same company in f.e. Paternoy, and Las Almunias de Rodellar.

⦿ In 1901 an agreement was signed with Ramón Trullás () for public lighting in Salvatierra and in the village of Burgui 7 km to the North. In 1912 the network was extended to Castillonuevo (West). Lorbés (East) and Sigüés (South) would also be served.

⦿ The power station was located on the ground floor. The turbine worked half days and provided light to the aforementioned villages only at night. During winter when there was intense frost, the water supply was cut off, paralyzing the turbine, leaving the four without electricity.

⦿ The authors visited the site in December 1998. They reported: The stones were worn out and showed signs oxidation. Amongst the rubble old hoppers and wooden measures all rotten. The turbine corroded. The floor ready to collapse; the roof similar.

(3) Outer walls of the house (right) and the fábrica (left).

Our own visit to the mill of Salvatierra came far too late, obviously. The roof was collapsed and with it all the internal floors. A large pile of rubble among which we could no longer recognize anything of the old facility.

(4) Inner parts of the mill proper.


Ester Álvarez Vidaurre, Pablo Miguel Orduna Portús — 2000 — La última generación de molinos pirenaicos (Salvatierra de Esca). Cuadernos de etnología y etnografĂ­a de Navarra (32) N°75: pp 55–108.
Read more about several of the Trullás clan in our page about Puente la Reina de Jaca.

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