A traveller interested in the sights of Mohács and the town’s vicinity should not depart without visiting the city’s watermill of medieval origin.

The first written evidence of a mill system on Creek Csele can be found in a memorial from 1331. The Turkish tax census of 1591 already mentions the number of mills along the creek in Mohács, among them the predecessor of our mill.
One hundred years later the mill-system consisting of four units was rebuilt, presumably by wealthy Serbian merchant families. The archives clearly state that the building of today’s mill already existed in 1721, functioning with tree water wheels.



The mill obtained its present form in the 1930s, as the wheel-house was attached to the east side of the structure. Therefore the St. Nicholas watermill is one of the few mill monuments of our times where the creek flows across the inside of the building.

After being abandoned for about 50 years the monument nearly went to ruins. In 2007, almost in the final hour, the Bugarszki family became the new owner of the mill and they started organizing its renovation. The architectural reconstruction took place in 2008, owing to some tenders and the cooperation of numerous good-hearted friends and supporters. Organized by the Mohács Association for City Protection and contributed by Norway Funds the mill received its new machinery in 2009 and was ready for operation again.




Our treadmill.

The building was erected out our own resources, while its machinery was build with support from the EU in 2014, in collaboration with the mill masters from the Romanian town of Gheorgheni (‚Gyergyószentmiklós’ in Hungarian), that lies 700 km from here.

Constructions with a tread-wheel were already known and used all around the world in about 300 BC, (i.e. 2300 years ago). Several such tread-wheel machineries that were used to lift and move heavy weights are still intact, for instance the port crane of Gdansk (PL), the bell mechanism of the Cathedral of Munich (D) or the tread-well of Somlóvásárhely (H).

As far as we know, surviving tread-mills – i.e. constructions where grinding is performed when driven by the energy of walking – can not be found anywhere, so the machine you will see here is truly one of a kind, at least in Europe. It was a great challenge to re-create the ancient machinery based on old descriptions, hard-to-read drawings and engravings.

As the work performed in the tread-mill was very hard and exhausting, such constructions were often used in prisons. These devices have been lost without a trace. The last one in Hungary was dismantled in 1858 in Hódmezővásárhely.

The most soul-destroying part of it was the monotonous work, the proverbial ‘long grind’: People were walking long hours in the mill without any visible result (of course, at the same time, the miller was grinding, so there was production going on)

As you can see, the construction is enormous. The diameter of the tread-wheel is 5,6 meters, 1 or 2 people can use it. The people working it the wheel make about four turns in a minute. The turning of the wheel is transmitted to the cogwheels by the huge pine-wood axle. The cogwheels transform the four turns into approx. 160 revolutions a minute. This is the speed where the grinding work of the millstone on the platform becomes efficient.
The performance of the grinding mechanism is very low, in an hour it can only mill some ten kilograms of wheat into flour. Nevertheless, it was a very important construction, as it was able to grind without water and wind. The flour we produce is whole-grain flour, including not only the inside of a wheat grain, but also the bran, the covering layer. It is a very healthy ingredient for baking and cooking.



Description of the mill building

Approaching the house from the direction of the creek, through the yard surrounded by fruit-trees, we enter the vaulted wheel-house that is built party underground. Once upon a time, the water of the mill-race rushed here, coming from Creek Csele. The stately waterwheel with 2,5 m diameter and 32 buckets can be found in this room. It was made by master craftsmen from Gyergyószentmiklós (Transylvania) in the winter of 2008.
The energy produced by the water-wheel is forwarded by a six-meter-long oak axle with 0,6 m diameter into the dry-house of the mill. The cogwheel can be found here, partially sunken into the floor. It is 2 meters in diameter, made of oak and furnished with 70 hornbeam teeth, with the duty of transmitting the power to the main shaft through the small spindle next to it and setting the millstones into motion.

In earlier times the connecting shafts and hoists driving the workings of the mill were placed in this room.



By going up on narrow wooden stairs we step into the grinding chamber. The huge main beam running majestically across the 14 meters of the room immediately catches one’s eye. The soul of the mill, the run of stones is situated here, slightly elevated on the stone floor.
The watermill of Mohács is one of the few mills where the technology of ancient times has been preserved and grinding is still being performed by millstones.
The impressive grinding apparatus was also crafted by the Szekely masters from Transylvania.

In the room behind the stone floor a gallery of milling history has been established, showing the evolution of grain processing from prehistoric to modern times through several interesting objects. From the documents and photographs of the exhibition the visitors can learn about the history of mills around the town Mohács.



One of the most spectacular exhibits shown here is the so-called “small 11” roller-mill with wooden frame, made by company Ganz in 1916.

Upstairs from the stone floor is the loft, the top floor of the mill, where visitors can inspect a great example of Baroque architecture, the robust roof structure with sloped struts. Because of its great capacity this room can be used for lectures, presentations and various other organized events.



Our services:

– Guided presentation of the nearly 300-year-old watermill during operation,
– Visiting the exhibition about the history of milling and the mill itself, where the objects shown can be tried out by the guests,
– Demonstration of an early 20th century lime kiln,
– Making flatbread (“lepény”), salty fried cake (“lángos”) or savoury scones (“pogácsa”) in the outdoor oven at the mill, by demand in collaboration with the visitors,
– Arranging programs and events up to 45 people.



Contact and enquiry:
Norbert M. Bugarszki 00 36 20/411-44-74,
www.patakmalom.hu
patakmalom@gmail.com



Route to the monument:

At the Somberek-Palotabozsok junction of motorway M6 turn off to the highway Mohács-Pécsvárad and drive about 10 kilometres in the direction of Mohács.

GPS: N 46º 2,453’ E 18º 40,624’





Gallery

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