Water Mill with Six Horizontal Wheels, Galesoaia, Gorj County

Unknownmiddle 19th century - 1972

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA
Sibiu, Romania

Because of the large water delivery of the Tismana River it was possible to build large watermills with four to six grinding installations, each driven by a horizontal wheel. On the other hand, the deep river bed and the danger of frequent spring floods necessitated raising the mills on high, massive piles sometimes four or five meters above the water level. This fact lends to these buildings a particularly monumental air that is not to be found in other water mills. This mill from Galeşoaia was the last of its kind on the Tismana River and is raised on twelve piles, sitting about five meters above the water level. The building is rectangular, the walls are built of oak beams carved on four sides and ending in butt joints. The two-sloped roof is covered with fir-shingles and the two gables are boarded up. Inside there is a single room, which houses the six grinding installations. An architectural element typical of Tismana mills is the „conac”, which is a building on piles placed near the main building, to the left of the entrance. It is a rectangular building made of beams with a two-sloped roof that served as the miller's workroom. It is furnished sparsely with a bed, a table and a stove. A twenty-five meter long footbridge made of oak beams links the mill to the shore.
To secure the fall and water delivery necessary for the simultaneous working of six water wheels, the waters of the Tismana River were collected in a pond by building a small dam close to the mill. From the pond, the water was conducted above the „mill-bridge”, which is a steeply inclined planking that has been mounted on piles towards the water wheels. The admission of the water to the wheels was allowed via conical, inclined troughs made of planks and a trough for each water wheel. For stopping the mechanism, each trough had a „raiser” that was operated from within the mill. The „raiser” lifted the trough so that the water jet passed over the wheel. Ownership and exploitation of the mill was handled via a system of joint ownership, which was also common practice in the Banat region of Romania. The Galeşoaia mill had over forty shareholders, assigned to the six installations. The milling-rights were divided amongst the owners by days of the week and weeks of the month.


  • Title: Water Mill with Six Horizontal Wheels, Galesoaia, Gorj County
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: middle 19th century - 1972
  • Physical Dimensions: w9.25 x h7.48 x d11.7 m
  • Provenance: ASTRA Museum
  • Type: Reconstruction
  • External Link: ASTRA Museum

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