Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero


Villalangua should be on any road map worth the name. From Jaca take the road for Pamplona. Don't cross the bridge in Puente la Reina de Jaca, but instead drive straight on towards the Puerto de Santa Bárbara and Huesca (A132). After quite a while take right where Villalangua is signposted. You will find the mill in the last bend before the bridge giving access to the village. The mill is on the Río Asabón.

Pictures: 16.xii.2000; 19.v.2011

(1) Mill with village of Villalangua in the background - 2000
The mill of Villalangua is big in comparison with many of Aragón's mills. Most of the space, however, is taken by the miller's living quarters. The mill pro­per is restricted to the ground level and maybe also the darkish section at the left side of pict. 1.

The entrance to the workplace is situated in the wall looking to the East (1). The opening is approxima­tely in the middle and slightly below the level of the pasture and now hidden behind the shrub.

There is a double door (3) and the lintel proudly gives the year Año: 1891 (3) — elsewhere 1839 is announced. There is also one of those old-fashio­ned tiles (blue on white) with the caption Molino Arinero or Wheat Mill (4). Similar specimens were found in Fuendecampo and Nueno.

(2) Abandoned furniture - 2000
The living quarters for the molinero were situated on the higher floors: a common configuration also seen in i.a. Centenera, Sarvisé, Fosado or Mipanas. This section was reached from the West of the top floor (7) where the lake (embalse) is.

When the mill was abandoned some nice furniture (2) was left behind. Between our visits the roof and most of the walls collapsed and nothing remains but rubble (16).

(3) Entrance to the mill
(4) Lintel of the door
(5) Supply channel

(6) The mill with the wall of the lake
The water was contained between very thick walls of a large embalse (6). The reservoir was rather shallow and nowhere deeper than two metres. The canal comes from near the village (5) and is still used to water the vegetable gardens next to the mill. Go down into the embalse and find out how the last stretch is bridged over by a hollow tree (8). We've seen piping of the same make on some other rare occasion as well: e.g. Ainielle, Lacabezonada, Alins and Samper.

(7) The lake at its nearest end
(8) Wooden piping

Compañia Anónima de Seguros
AURORA - Bilbao
Agencia Principal

B° me fecia
Año 1839
Two plates fitted to the wall tell that the business was insured by Aurora based in Bilbao (9, 10). This company was born in 1900 and the brand ceased to exist in 1977.

Apart from the date above the door there is another stone remembering who built the mill (11) and when.

Nowadays the building is reduced to rubble (16) and there is hardly anything worthwhile left from the inner parts. In 2000 however, at the time of our first visit, this was a most interesting spot.

(12) Overview of the work place
Passing through the entrance (3) we came into a large passageway. A door to the right brought us into the bakery. There was an oven and several recipients relating to the profession.

A double door to the left led to the place with the mil­ling unit. One of this doors can be seen in (15). The top of the same door is also visible in (16) near the right border. The work place back then (12) was in good shape though traces of leakage were apparent.

First there was the tool to get rid of impurities be­tween the grains (12, 15). Exact the same make of fanning mill was found in Paternoy. This tool was driven from the same wheel as the stones. The arbol below the stones connected with a horizontal axle carrying a belt wheel. A ribbon then brought the movement to the corn sifter.

In (13 right) a pole is shown — see also (12). This rod reached to the upper floor providing the luxury of some command without having to walk the stairs.

(13) guardapolvo, caballete, tolva
There was only one couple of stones. Mills of this size often feature two (the second couple for fodder). The set (12 in 2000) was complete with all parts in good condition (13): a guardapolvo (dust cover) with a caballete (frame) supporting the tolva (hopper) and the grain feeding system in place. The crane (grua with cabra) is one of the few parts still to be found in 2011 (17).
The dust cover was cylindrical with a name plate of the supplier: Juan Guitart - Constructor - Zaragoza. It was one of the smaller companies. I'm in the dark about the meaning of the accompa­nying characters in bold A. B. L. (14).

There is a nice drawing of the crane on the opposite wall (18). It's in two colours and the title (MOlino?) was never finished.

(16) Space of (15) in 2011

(17) crane in 2011
(18) Drawing of the crane on the wall to the east

Two stones were flanking the entrance (15, 19). They are monoliths but carry the more modern harp dressing.
A stone with an older spiralic profile (20) is burried in the floor of the bakery section.

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