Moorish mills, Córdoba
Just to the west of the Roman bridge, you will see the remains of four Arab mills. They are in quite good condition considering their age. The northernmost of the mills has a restored waterwheel, quite impressive in its size,but unfortunately a good view of it is partly blocked by trees. The mills were used for making flour from wheat and later for also pumping water up to the Alcazaba.
This whole area has been set aside to grow wild, to protect it as a habitat for the many birds. I saw a multitude of herons and seagulls and a few birds whose names I dont know. I found it quite amazing the number of wild birds living so close in a city center.
While crossing the Roman Bridge at our left there are the five mills.
This Mills are over the Guadalquivir river bed, so they had got flooded several times.
I wish they could spend some money on their restoration as it is a pity to see them so forgotten and in such a bad state.
The most famous one is the mill of Albolafia, as it was used for pumping water up for the Alcazar gardens.
Keep on walking till the end to see the triumph gate
The Roman Bridge is a much restored (essentially Moorish on Roman bases) structure. The Calahorra Tower is a Moorish defense structure of 1369 (and contains a small museum ). It is on the South bank of the Guadalquivir River. Downstream (West) on the North Bank are the Arab Water Wheel and the Alcazar.(which contains spectacular Roman artefacts and charming pools and gardens). A portion of the Moorish defensive wall runs along the river bank and another segment along the Juderia to the Almodovar Gate. All of these can be spotted out on a map and make an easy walk when visiting the Mezquita.
Directions: Near the Mezquita
There are eleven water mills on the Guadalquivir River in Cordoba. My favorite is Molino de agua San Antonio or Water Mill of Saint Anthony. It is situated near southern bank of Guadalquivir River, west of Roman Bridge. This mill was built in XV century and was producing flour for Castilian Army especially during the war against Moors of Granada in 1482-1492. In XVI century ground floor of San Antonio water Mill was used as a small "shipyard" where wooden boats were built. After many years and centuries of neglect this water mill was restored in 2007.
Molino de Agua de Papalo Tierno or Watermill of Papalo Tierno also known as mill of Tellez or Don Tello’s Mill is situated at the mid of Guadalquivir River in Cordoba, between Molino de Enmedio and Molino de Albolafia. It is a place of nesting of many water birds as cormorants, ducks and herons. This mill is also waiting for investments and restoration.
Molino de Agua Albolafia or Watermill of Albolafia (Abu-l-Afiya) is situated at northern bank of Guadalquivir River in Cordoba. Traditional this watermill is considered as Moorish but in fact Moors and Visigoths before them received this watermill from Romans. Moors just reconstructed this watermill according to orders of Emir Abd al-Rahman II. Wheel of this watermill was disassembled temporarily in second part of XV century because it produced great noise and irritated Queen Isabel La Catolica lived in Alcazar castle not far from the mill. Mill was restored by local nuns who were the owners in XVI century.
Molino de Agua de Enmedio or Watermill of Enmedio is situated at Guadalquivir River in Cordoba, between Molino de San Antonio and Molino de Papalo Tierno. It is also known as mill of the Nuns of Jesus and Mary. I’m not sure it is Moorish but it definitely elder than five hundred years. Currently this watermill is almost hidden by the vegetation and waiting for investors and restoration. Europe must not lose its cultural heritage.
At attached pictures, Molino de Enmedio is on the left and Molino de Papalo Tierno on the right.
Whilst some of us won't bat an eyelid seeing mills, knowing a little on the history of Moorish mills might spur some interest in these seemingly common features. Possibly the greatest contribution of the Moors to Andalucia was the introduction of features like mills and drains to irrigate and bring water to the arid land. The architecture greatness is expecially lauded in Granada and Las Alpujarras where the Moors made these areas habitable and ariable.
This mill can be sighted along the river near the Alcazar and roman bridge.
This river is the main one in the Spanish South. It is surprisingly wide and has trees growing in the middle. The river is crossed by a Roman bridge which was under restoration at the time of my visit.
The waterwheel is located in the river near the Mezquita. It is a reconstruction from parts of the original wheel.