Mills in Altoaragón - harinero, central eléctrica


Sarvisé is situated close to Broto and The Ordesa National Park. From Broto take the main road towards L'Ainsa. You'll reach Sarvisé after a few kilometers. Take a look at the picnic spot at the right side of the road at the entrance of the village. From the plaza cross the main road and walk to the west towards the river. You'll soon find the mill at your right hand side.
The mill is fed with water from the Río Ara.

(1) The mill in 1996.
(2) and in 2008.

The molino of Sarvisé (1) was a combination of wheat mill, powerstation and bakery. The upperfloor were living quarters. The economic activity happened at the bottom floor. The powerstation was situated in the left part of the building (left from the high trees). The largest part was dedicated to the flour mill. The separate construction at the right contains the oven of the bakery.
When we first visited the mill —in 1996— the doors were open and the interior was in disarray, but the roof was intact and so were most other things like f.e. the regulator panels of the power station.

In 2008 the powerstation was open to the sky and souvenir hunting and vandalism had taken their toll. Once again a lost chance to preserve an important spot of the local history.

(3) Río Ara at intake of channel.
Village of Oto in the background.
(4) Middle part of Canal del Molino.

Water was brought to the mill by the Canal del molino. As the capture point lies quite a distance stream-up, the channel is rather long —a feature in common with other mills in the same valley; e.g. Jánovas and Lacort. Two (still functional) doors regulate the water flow in the channel.
The canal then (4) longs the Río Ara and is currently perhaps used to irrigate some of the lower lying pastures. There is another channel higher on the slope which is the main irrigation vein.

(5) Canal reaches backside of the mill.
(6) Chutes leading to cárcavos.

The channel finally arrives at the eastern wall of the mill (5) and is terminated by two doors. After the doors two open chutes (6) lead the water to the wheels. As there are no valves at the end of the tubes (7, 8) the doors were the only means to regulate the flow.
Notice the absence of a reservoir to keep an amount of water ready for the next run. None of the mills fed by the Río Ara needed an embalse. The river is never dry and the current is always strong enough to turn the wheels without any need for temporary storage. Running in this way was called moler de fila.

(7) Left cárcavo contains wheel.
(8) Right cárcavo is empty.

Two cárcavos run from one end to the other. One is empty, the other contains a metallic rodete. Both are situated below the section where the grain mill was situated. There is no indication that water was used also to generate electricity.
The cárcavos discharged to a common space (9, 10) where three doors gave as many options to direct the waterflow. The shortest way back to the river was via a spacious tunnel (11) below the pastures at the west of the mill (1, 2).

(9) Outlet of both cárcavos.
(10) Three doors to manage the discharge.

(11) Tunnel below the pasture.

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