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Málaga Province - Museo Etnografico of Riogordo

Museo Etnografico of Riogordo

by Chris Chaplow

The Museum of Ethnography on Calle de la Iglesia is interesting and worth a look around. It comprises of three elements: a casa señorial (mansion), an olive mill with miller's house, and a flour mill.

Casa Señorial
At the street entrance level one enters the Mudejar-style mansion, and in the upper rooms temporary exhibitions of contemporary art are often held. The chapel is a special feature with a domed ceiling, stained glass windows and religious carvings and artifacts.  A narrow staircase leads down to the miller's quarters.

Molino Harinero de San Antonio.
The flour mill of San Antonio. This was set up in 1925 by carpenter Enrique Salvero, although the hydraulic parts date back to the 19th century.  The last miller to work here was Don Manuel Aguilera Torres, who still remembers the era. In the first half of the 20th century, the arrieros (muleteers) used to bring wheat here by night, which was milled secretly and hidden in a store. The mill was famous for the fineness of its flour.   

Molino de Aceite
The olive oil mill shows how the olives were milled from Roman times up to the industrial revolution. The cone-shaped millstone was turned by a mule and the liquid was collected in a trough.

The liquid contained three parts - oil, water and plectrum, separated by gravity, with the oil resting on the top. After distillation, the olive oil was stored in the large clay jars - you can often see these in rural villages and haciendas.

You can also see a later wooden press as well as an iron press. The olives were sandwiched between esparto grass mats and the press was screwed down to squeeze the liquid from the olives. This type of press later became hydraulic instead of being screw-pressed.The oil was transported by mule from the many small mills to the port of Malaga until the first half of the 20th century.

The miller's quarters and kitchen contains many household and working historic objects and tools.

The museum is free to visit, with a voluntary donation.

Opening Times
Thursday: 10.00 to 13.45
Friday: 10.00 to 14.00
Saturday and Sunday: 16.00 to 20.00