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The Mills on the River Ljuta in Konavle

Niko Kapetanić

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 2.349 Kb


str. 165-176

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This article traces the history of water mills built on the River Ljuta in Konavle. When the Ragusan government acquired Konavle in 1427, there existed four mills in the upper flow of the river. The Republic tended to increase the production of grain due to the rise in population and the growing demand for flour and hardtack, the latter being an important provision aboard merchant vessels. This necessitated the construction of new mills, relocated mainly in the downstream areas of the Ljuta. Thus by the beginning of the sixteenth century, the number of water mills used for grinding grain had been tripled. The construction of Donji mlini (lower mills) represented an engineering challenge, as the slope was not steep enough. While at Gornji mlini (upper mills) the conduits that convey water from the river to the mills are less than fifty metres long thanks to the steep drop of the terrain, at lower mills, however, they measure in hundreds of metres. Mills were owned by the state and concessions were granted under specific terms. After the fall of the Republic, they became private property. In the second half of the nineteenth century, water mills for grinding olives as well as for the fulling of cloth had been built. A hundred years later, prior to becoming technologically outdated, the mills fell into disuse due to the lack of raw materials.

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