Mills in Altoaragón - fábrica, central
Salvatierra de Esca
Salvatierra de Esca
is a small village in the Jacetania region.
From take the N-240 to .
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 (A-137) is signposted.
Leave the main road and you'll first pass Sigüés
and after 8 km reach . 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 . 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.
(1) The mill next to the río Esca © SIGPAC vii.2003 — IGN.es
t 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
Unfortunately, due to a combination of circumstances, virtually nothing of the content was preserved.
he 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.
he 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 Paternoy, and
Las Almunias de Rodellar.
We have seen the same company in f.e.
⦿ In 1901 an agreement was signed with ‡
) 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.
— 2000 — La última generación de molinos pirenaicos (Salvatierra de Esca).
Cuadernos de etnología y etnografía de Navarra (32) N°75: pp 55–108.