Mills in Altoaragón - harinero

Javierre de Olsón

Javierre is most easily to reach from the main road between L'Ainsa and Barbastro when you turn to Lamata in Mesón de Ligüerre de Cinca. Following the narrow road leading to Olsón you'll reach Javierre. Walk down towards the Río Susía, cross the river and there you are. A lovely way to enjoy the landscape is to walk in from the north starting at Castejón de Sobrarbe. Take a map and binoculars with you. The region teems with birdlife. The mills tap water from the Río Susía.

Pictures: 05.III.2003

Overview of the site
black arrow points to upper harinero.

Entrance of upper mill
left: the wall of the embalse.

The upper harinero rests against the wall of the embalse which reaches the roof of the mill. The roof collapsed, the workplace is in disarray and what is left of the tools lies scattered around. Notice the cilindrical guardapolvo and the impeccable torno.

The torno is a tool typical for places where bread was made - bakeries, large family houses, and also several mills (e.g. Castillazuelo, Centenera, Yésero, etc.)

The torno is a bolting machine used to split the flour into three fractions : very fine (minudillo), fine (cabezuela) and coarse (tercera) corresponding with the three valves. A crank comes out of one of the short sides. At the inside of the box this crank is connected with an axis mounted between the short sides. An octagonal prism is fitted to this axis which is slightly off horizontal. The prism is lined with gauze with a different mesh for each section. Small mallets of wood inside the prism kept the flour off lumping while the crank was operated.

Workplace in disarray.

Torno = bolting machine.

Although the vegetation asks for quite a bit of grooming before allowing you access to the cár­ca­vo, you'll agree that it is well worth the effort after you have been inside.

The cárcavo is very deep and spacious and contains only one rueda. The botana (nozzle) is mounted on a protruding section of the back-wall. It's all very similar to the situation in the molino Villacampa of Mondot in the same valley.

The big difference is the material of the wheel : iron in Mondot and wood here.

Rueda, botana and levador

Cárcavo with ample room.

Detail of the rodezno made of wood.

Cárcavo looking at the lower mill
We've seen wooden wheels at very few sites (e.g. Ainielle, Torrolluala) and we were either kept away by a protective grid or the wheel was fallen into pieces. This wheel however is in perfect condition and you can touch it to appreciate the fascinating craft­man­ship. Look at the shape of the individual blades.

The water was evacuated through a wide channel leading to the lower harinero only a few meters away but hidden behind the scrub in the channel.

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