Olivares water mills

Special mention / Diploma in the category Conservation in the year 2008.

Dating of the building: 10th - 19th century.

Applicant: Francisco Somoza Rodríguez-Escudero.

Reason for the award :

For the restoration of the Aceñas de Olivares, which has allowed the recovery of one of the oldest and most characteristic ensembles of water architecture in the city of Zamora.

The intervention in the olive groves of Olivares has not only prevented their definitive destruction but has also returned to Zamora a fundamental part of its rich history.

The water mills, also known by the term aceña, from the Arabic as-saniya or water flour mill, are the first and oldest industry in Zamora. Existing since the 10th century, these devices used the force of the current to move stone grinding wheels and grind grain. Given its deplorable state of preservation, the City Council opted for its recovery, beginning some very complex works that were carried out between 1999 and 2004. The objective has been, apart from the restoration of the mills, the creation of an interpretative centre for the Traditional Water Industries.

Finally inaugurated in July 2008, after a comprehensive restoration, whose first works were in the hands of the Rehabilitation Workshop School, the new waterworks have served to revitalize the bond between the inhabitants of Zamora and the Duero River. The restoration has not only involved the architectural recovery of the three water mills, but also the restoration of their machinery, incorporating a flour mill, a fulling mill, and a hammer.

Others awards in Castilla y León: