Mills in Alto Aragón — molino aceitero


Aguinalíu is easily reached from the main road between Graus and Benabarre. After about 5 km you'll find a branch to Aguinalíu — just before Torres de Obispo (Molino). This is a narrow winding road running to the south. After a while you'll dive under the main road between Barbastro and Benabarre. It's then another 4 km to your destination. Drop your vehicle at the crossroads at the entrance of the village and walk the branch to the south. You'll soon find the mill: el Torno de las Olivas.

Pictures: 17.viii.2013

Molino aceitero de Aguinalíu — overview

This type of press, named prensa de palanca or, even more descriptive, prensa de viga y quintal [] was the most common kind in use during the 19th century. The situation changed fast during the first half of the 20th century. The expensive, place hungry, slow and work intensive prensa de viga was repla­ced by more modern technology: metallic contrap­tions where pressure was built up by means of a screw (e.g. Mipanas) or hydraulics (e.g. Centenera).
Very few of this very special kind managed to sur­vive and the case at hand is typical for the deplor­able condition of the handful which did reach our times.

The main, and most interesting, features of the molino aceitero can still be seen: the huge beam with at one end the virgenes with lateral slits and at the opposite end the screw in its fitting, the tuerca.

Head of the prensa de palanca (cantilever press)

Main beam: length = 11.6m
Virgenes with slits for the trabones
Tuerca with caracol

Tuerca is tagged with AÑO 1927
The free end of the cantilever has rather elaborate ornamental curves. Near the top a heavy wooden block is mounted: the tuerca having a hole through which a screw (the caracol) runs in order to force the lever up or down. Notice that the tuerca features a date stamp: AÑO 1927.

Take a look at Castilsabás in order to get a better understanding of how it all fits together.

A few steps away, it probably was a separate room, is the place where the olives were broken. We can still find the mill stone on its axle together with the supports for the feeding system (cfr Olsón). The wooden hopper itself is gone.

Ruello with remains of the feeding system
Pila where oil was stored and decanted

†: cantilever press or press with beam and heavy stone
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