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Romanesque mills in the Duero, Zamora, Spain by oscarps

The city of Zamora was founded at the beginning of the Bronze Age, being later occupied during the Iron Age by the Celtic people of the vacceos, that denominated Ocalam. The initial settlement was in the almond delimited by the Castle and the San Ildefonso coast, a strategic location as it is a rocky plateau defended by the river Duero, in which a castro was located.

The settlement remained during the Roman Empire. In fact, he has often been identified with the important mansio and civitas of “Ocelo Durii” (Ojo del Duero). According to some such population would correspond in fact with the present Villalazán, twelve kilometers to the east, also on the banks of the Duero, and by which the Way of the Silver passed.

#2 #mill nº1

Las Aceñas de Olivares are a group of these mills located on the Duero riverbed, in the Spanish city of Zamora. They are one of the five sets of wineries that still exist in the city, although all have been in productive use since the beginning of the 20th century, along with Pinilla, Cabañales, Gijón and Los Pisones.

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#3 #mill nº2

They have been rehabilitated and consolidated to install in them the Center of Interpretation of the Traditional Industries of the Water. The project, with an investment of 317,000 €, was in charge of the architects Francisco Somoza and Pedro Lucas del Teso, who received a special mention for him in the "Hispania Nostra" awards in 2008.

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#4 @mill nº3

During the Middle Ages it was very common the existence of numerous wineries located on the banks of the Zamorano rivers, taking advantage of the driving force of the currents. Its construction was an architectonic problem little evident with the constructive technology of the time. At that time his possession assumed a power relationship of a given community.

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#5 #mill nº4

The old documentation on the description of these mechanical devices assigns the designation "aceña" to the mechanisms that operate in rivers with great flow, while the denomination "mill" is reserved to those located in channels of lower flow. It is for this reason that the name Aceña is correct when mentioning those of Zamora on the banks of the Duero.

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#7 #mill nº7

The Duero river forms as it passes through the city a green corridor of five kilometers in length, as much in the vegetal, with vegetation of bank, integrated mainly by poplars and poplars, as in faunístico, with birds and aquatic species linked to him. In the channel there are a series of islands, of which two are visitable pedestrian in times of drought.

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#8 #mill nº9

Among them, the former were rebuilt a few years ago, although at present they have no use. In the future, a transnational interpretation center (Spanish and Portuguese) will be set up in the Ribera del Duero, 134 while Olivares will host the Center for the Interpretation of Traditional Water Industries.

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#9 #mill nº8

As for man-made elements, there are several historical azudes, which serve for the backwaters of the waters and to feed several groups of sprinklers located on both shores. There are in total seven groups of wineries that subsist, such as Cabañales or Requejo, Pinilla or Cabildo, Gijón, Los Pisones and Olivares.

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#10 #mill nº6

The spindles were not owned by a single person. Its construction, maintenance and its production of wheat flour were the responsibility of a community. As a rule they were religious communities, which were responsible for providing the so-called currencies or sometimes the tenants. In this particular case the owner was the Cabildo Catedralicio, who also owned Pinilla (the latter also known precisely as Aceñas del Cabildo). The properties of the springs are granted to the religious orders by the king. This situation is changing as the centuries evolve.

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Written by oscarps


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