Mills in Altoaragón - harinero


Bernués is a village situated in the Jacetania region south of Jaca. From Jaca take the A-1205 to Santa María de la Peña. The road is narrow and winding and it will take you nearly an hour for the 28 km to Bernués. After a sharp turn to the right the village will turn up in the distance and a bit further on You will find Jacetania and San Juan de la Peña sign­posted. At the same spot at the other side of the road a track leads down to the Ermita de San Alejandro and to the mill. Drop your vehicle and walk the trail.

Pictures: 03.I.2013

(13) Turbine with transmission high in the cárcavo

The workplace of the mill is out of reach but the parts hidden out of sight in the cárcavo are accessi­ble and rather well preserved. I have never seen a cárcavo this high (15, ). There are three levels.

Placed on a plateau just below the roof of the cár­cavo is a turbine (13) with a transmission box on top of it. There is a horizontal axle with two wheels fitted: a cogwheel and a belt wheel. The latter was proba­bly of no use; I could not find where the belt would have gone. It is possible that the axle passes through the wall at the right side and powered machinery (e.g. bolter, cleaner) in the workplace.

The cogwheel grips into a bigger wheel with teeth of wood. The axle of the latter passes through the roof of the cárcavo and would have turned the stone.

Lastly there is a lever making it possible to tune the system from the workplace.

The upper turbine is drained by a wide tube which runs steeply down for a few meters (14) and then serves as input for the second turbine (16). The out­let of this turbine is a much narrower pipe (15).

The turbine could be adjusted from the workfloor via cog- and worm­wheels mounted on very long axles. An axle of a few meters length comes down through the roof of the cárcavo (18 right). At its bottom end cog wheels provide for a change to the horizontal (14 bottom). At the end of this slightly shorter rod a worm wheel grips into a cog wheel from the turbine (16, 19).

The body of the turbine carries a tag of the José Amorós company based in Zaragoza. Though this company is present in other mills (e.g. Arrés, Calde­arenas) I could find almost nothing about Amorós. It was probably one of the smaller companies of the sector.

(14) Drain of 1st turbine with control for 2nd
(15) Cárcavo with turbines (top) and drain (bottom)

(16) Turbine low in the cárcavo

(17) Tag on turbine (16)
José Amorós
(18) Roof of cárcavo with two holes for axles

(19) Lower turbine with drain in the background

It is not clear what was done with the lower turbine (19).
The mouth of the cárcavo continues in a wide and deep ditch (15, 20) which delivers water to another, smaller, flour mill further down.

 exception made perhaps for the Molino bajo of Ena. The other dimensions of the cárcavo there are much smaller though.

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