Santiponce Itálica

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Molinos Árabes de la Aceña

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Commonly known as the “Aceña Mills”, these Moorish water mills are mentioned in 18th-century documents as the Saldaña water and fulling mills. They were originally built in Moorish times on the River Guadalquivir between Cordoba and Seville. The current buildings were erected in 1485-1499 on what was likely the site of an 11th-century structure. The Mudejar builders who worked on its construction left their architectural imprint, as they also did on other buildings in the town, such as San Juan Bautista Church.

The mills are located near Alcolea del Río. It consists of three different buildings that straddle a branch of the River Guadalquivir. The first building cannot be accessed nowadays as the entrance opens directly onto the river. It was built from large stone blocks with a structure similar to the inverted keel of a ship. It is flanked by two massive buttresses. The pentagonal building in the middle is covered by a barrel vault. It is divided into three irregular bays separated by stone and brick pilasters. Its north side is slightly offset. There are two millstones in the centre of the building. The third structure, which is also pentagonal, has a star vault formed by the wide stone ribs. The floor of this module staggers downwards to the river. It houses several millstones. The southern side of the complex is bordered by a dyke, built with ashlar and river rocks, that projects into the river.

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