The Miller's trade in the Loka region
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The Miller's trade in the Loka region« Back

Mill in the castle garden

The mill is first mentioned in the Loka region in a document around 1160. Mills are also entered in the land registry of the Freising nobility in 1291. They used to be situated along the Selška Sora river and were the property of a landlord who leased them out under certain conditions.

Soon, ordinary people also began to set up mills of their own. These were either trade or domestic and farm mills. Trade mills were set up along bigger waterways, having from two to eight pairs of stones and stamps, and they performed the milling for the inhabitants of surrounding villages. Farm and domestic mills had one or two pairs of stones, seldom also stamps, and were generally used for the owners’ domestic use. Sometimes two or more neighbours shared a mill. Most farm mills in the Loka region could be found in Davča and Sorica.

The number of mills in the Loka region varied through the centuries. Sources for 1630 list 173 mills, out of which only 23 worked non-stop. At the end of the 19th century (1880) 88 of these stilled milled (200 millstones and 210 stamps). According to information from Majda Žontar, the force of water drove as many as 158 mills in the Loka region at the beginning of the 20th century, from which 73 were trade mills and 85 farm and domestic mills. After the Second World War, we can count only 42. The only ones left to remind us of the rich milling tradition today, are the rundown mill construction along the streams and the “Fortuna mill” in Hotavlje in the valley of Poljanska dolina.

The miller’s trade has always been an important economic sector in the Loka region, whereas the mill constructions made a unique mark to the cultural paysage. Due to the industrial decline of the miller’s trade and hence the mills, the Loka museum workers decided in the 1970s to present this activity in the castle garden.

Two milling constructions made from wooden beams are depicted on the famous fresco of Holy Sunday form the mid 15th century. A man is depicted in the middle of the same scene, taking a mule loaded with bags of wheat into the mill. A copy is kept by the Škofja Loka Museum

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Loški muzej Škofja Loka, Grajska pot 13 , 4220 Škofja Loka
tel.: +386 4 517-04-00, fax: +386 4 517-04-12