Watermills in Altoaragón - harinero, aceitero


Sieste is situated near Boltaña. Find Boltaña on the main road between L'Ainsa and Broto - Torla. Coming from L'Ainsa turn left just before you enter Boltaña towards Margudgued, cross the bridge and at the first branch turn right for Sieste. The road first meanders through the fields and then climbs up-hill. Drop the car at the crossroads leading into the village. Then walk back until you find the old path lined with stone walls. Walk this path and very soon you'll see the valley of the Río Sieste with the mill in the depth. Continue your walk until you reach a point where the slope is less steep. You'll notice some bigger flat stones and a diffuse path going downward. Go down into the river bed and walk against the current to the mill.

Pictures: 27.XII.2006

(1) Sieste (black line) and the mill (blue)
(2) Molino with Río Sieste
The mill of Sieste has suffered a lot of the years but is nevertheless definitly worth a visit. The surroundings are agreeable and there is still a lot to discover. The water was stored in the embalse situated at the back of the construction (The green trees at the right below the meadow in pict. 2). The supply channel follows the treeline (top right) but I couldn't find the the exact point where the intake was.
(3) Channel arriving at embalse (4) Embalse with mill
The embalse is now full of trees making it a bit difficult to get an overview but it is possible to enter it and then appreciate the impressive size and depth. The lake is surrounded by huge earthen walls (3, 4) which, in the corner leaning against the molino, are replaced by a wall built of regularly shaped natural stone blocks (4-6). A pair of quadrangular mouths (6) open in the wall next to the mill. One of this saetines is obstructed by silt, the other is wide open and shows clearly how the water was lead down to the wheels in the cárcavo (7). You can look straight through to the botana (11).
(5) Wall of embalse closest to the mill (6) Two inlets towards two carcavo's
(7) Saetín - inlet (8) Two drains
Of the two cárcavos one is two thirds full of silt (9) and no special features can be seen. This was the engine for the milling stones of the flour mill section. In the other cárcavo only the wheel (rodete) is almost hidden below the mud but the botana and the axle (arbol) are still free and in good condition (10). This rodete moved the olive-crusher of the oil mill.
(9) Cárcavo left (10) Cárcavo right
(11) Arbol, rodete & botana
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