Watermills

In the 19th century, the eight waterfalls of the town hosted watermills and watersanders (batanes), places where the garments are washed and bleached, as a product of housecrafts. The town of Naoussa had 24 mills, seven sesamemills, 2 watersaws, 8 watersanders (Batanes) and 2 rice laundries.
Today only three watermills, samples of different architectural influences and expression of social class of their owner, are preserved. The watermills are integrated to the miller's residence, once integrated in the ground floor of a two-storey building and, sometimes, as independent structures attached to the house. Most watermills were in operation until the 60’s.
Nowadays, very few are preserved and they are located in the basements of houses which have been modernized or in the outer spaces of the new buildings that replaced previous mill facilities.
The cylindermill of Matthaiou was a flourmill and was in operation in the early 20th century alongside with the textile units of the town.
The mill of Raios, built in the late 19thcentury, is a two-storey building with a hipped roof, typical of folk architecture. It also has a pair of millstones for wheat grinding.
Makis’ mill, a three-storey building built in 1910, had two couples of millstones grinding cereals in one and sesame in another.
(Source: L. Stylianou, Hydro Power in Naoussa: http://kpenaousas.gr/en/θεματικά-δίκτυα/υδροκίνηση-στη-νάουσα)


A. Makis’ Mill
The sesamemill belonging to Kokkinos initially and subsequently to Makis is located in the region of Saint Triada, in Karatasiou Street, immediately after the bridge in Batania.
It is a three-story building, constructed according to the standards of the local folk architecture. The first two levels are built from limestone of Mount Vermio and have rare openings. The floor rises in an enclosed balcony over the bridge; it has many openings and is built with lightweight materials; wood, mud and small stones. The ground and first floor are arranged according to the requirements for the operation and equipment of the sesamemill.
At the center of the floor plan, a large space is formed reaching the height of the level of the second floor. The main machinery of the business and a double oven is located here. Work lofts and a waiting room are formed around this area. All the spaces communicate by a spacious wooden stairway leading to the second floor, which is the residence of the owner. The room with the millstones is in contact and direct communication with the main volume of the building, on the bank of the river. It is an old construction, less proper, which was housed under a double-pitched roof. Today, only two metallic conductors bringing water to the two "eyes" of the mill are preserved.
(Source: E. Charitidou-Mavroudi, Old mills and bakeries in Naoussa, Niaousta, Vol. 81, October-Decemebr 1997)


B. Matthaiou’s Cylindrical Mill
Christodoulos Matthaiou was the grandson of the old famous Naoussaian Seret Mina who survived the disaster of 1822. After having worked as an hagiographer on Mount Athos and acquired fame and money, in 1909 Christodoulos built a large house in place of his family residence. Two years later, looking after for the professional establishment of his nephew Minas, he built the cylindrical mill in the place of the family watermill. The supply of equipment was ordered from Marseille and the installation was taken over by French engineer Derbié de Latour and his assistant Argani.
The building of the house was constructed by the famous architect of Thessaloniki Fraikos, with particular care and in accordance to the architectural currents of the time. The residential areas are arranged in two floors while the ground floor is divided into three even sections. One is occupied by the wooden staircase of the house, and the other two were used for the various uses of the mill.
The building of the cylindrical mill was constructed following the principles of the local folk architecture by craftsmen of the neighboring villages. It is three-storey, like the house, with few openings comparing to the buildings of this type and is covered with a pitched roof. The ground floor and the first floor are built of local stone (limestone from Mount Vermio), while the walls of the second floor are built of catma (a mixed technique using stones, branches, reeds etc. in order to fill the openings left by the wooden frame).
The interiors of the floors are uniform, without dividing walls, with a series of wooden columns that support the weight of the roof and the floors. The communication between floors is ensured by narrow wooden stairs. In the courtyard, there is a reservoir for the concentration of water for the movement of the whirl, which had a capacity of 40 hp.
It operated by waterfall from a height of about 5 meters, and the motion was transmitted to the machines by a system of axes, spindles and belts, installed in the basement, under the crushers. At the tip of the axe, there was a small generator which, after the operation of the mill and the reduction of water power, entered in use, giving light to 40 lamps. This was the first experience of electricity for the residents.
The mill occupied around 3-4 workers plus the owner and members of his family.
Today, the entire mechanical equipment is preserved, installed in the order determined by the diagram of the operation of the mill.
The work at the mill is divided into three categories: cleaning-washing, milling and dividing the components of the seed.
In the interwar period, the troubled relations between the ovens operating in Naoussa and the Mill on the absorption of flour, pushes the owner to proceed to the production of bread. To this end, the kneading room is formed on the ground floor and the oven and bread warehouse is constructed in the courtyard. In the 50ies, the oven stops working after an agreement with the ovens of the town. Tough competition with new large industrial units and high transport costs created serious problems to the business. After the death of the owner, the mill closed at around 1963.
(Source: E. Charitidou-Mavroudi, Old mills and bakeries in Naoussa, Niaousta, Vol. 81, October-Decemebr 1997)

 


C. Mill of Raios
The watermill of Raios is situated in close proximity to the mill of Makis, at Karatasou Street. It is a two-storey building of traditional architecture with components similar to those of Maki’s mill. The house occupies the entire floor while the space of production is developed on the western side of the building and it is autonomous. The common feature of the two uses (house and mill) is the ground floor with the double-leaf entrance door, the wooden staircase leading to the first floor and a small warehouse.
Today the entire system of the watermill is preserved: the millstones, the wooden elements framing it, the hopper for the flow of the grain and, mainly, the metal wheel on the lower side, situated into the groove which is dug into the natural bedrock, which is ready to turn when the water is channeled from the “binding”. This building is probably the only part of the city where the trajectory of water is still readable, its role in daily life, production and formulation of architecture.Raios Mill is a remarkable example of local folk architecture as applied to industrial buildings at the end of the 19th century, part of a remarkable traditional set. Its possible date of construction is between 1850 and 1880. It is an important testimony to the evolution of industrial civilization and is inseparably connected to the memories of residents of Naoussa.
The building was declared a historical monument (by the 4th Ephorate of Modern Monuments) requiring special state protection by the ministerial decree published in the Official Gazette 1305/B/24-6-99.
(Sources:
E. Charitidou-Mavroudi, Old mills and bakeries in Naoussa, Niaousta, Vol. 81, October-December 1997
http://www.naousa.gr/municipality/activities/projects.asp?id=22)