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Textile mill at Villava

Pilgrim's Way to Santiago
Museums / Ethnographic, Others


Textile mill at Villava
Textile mill at Villava
Textile mill at Villava
Textile mill at Villava
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Like an enormous txalaparta (a Basque music device made of wood or stone) the mallets of the old textile mill of Villava sound once more to recall the old trade of pelaires (weavers). The building has been reconstructed on several occasions with different uses and a common denominator: water. Located on the right bank of the river Ultzama next to a spectacular weir and the church of Trinidad de Arre, this emblematic building was initially a flour mill, then a textile mill and now a museum and information centre on the Arga River Park.

Audiovisuales, panels, photographs, scale models and workshops help us to understand the building's past as a cloth and paper factory and its present as an information centre on the Arga River Park.

Its reconstruction as a museum recalls its past as a fulling mill. The word "batán" comes from Arabic and means "hitting". Indeed, this is the function of this machine, used to transform open fabric into denser fabrics by continually hitting them with mallets. Initially the work was done by hand but this machine was invented in the Middle Ages by using the force of water to move a wooden wheel, which in turn set off the mallets.

The main fulling mill in Villava started out in the Middle Ages as a flour mill but was converted to work with fabrics in the 16th century. Weavers worked the cloth there until the 19th century. Forgotten for 100 years, is has re-emerged in the 21st century as a museum. The reconstruction work has maintained its structure and conserved the outer stone walls. Its previous function is recalled through a fulling machine a replica of a 16th-century textile mill and a machine to manufacture film.

Layout of the museum

Basement floor: Reconstruction of the history/B> of the mill. Wall panels and other materials, together with a reconstruction of the wheel and the original mechanism of the mill, document and describe the artisan production of cloth made from plant fibre along the river.

Ground floor: The River Park. An exhibition on the park in ten sections and two scale models. In the audiovisual room a video shows the main elements of the exhibition

First floor: room for temporary exhibitions, talks and seminars on the environment.


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