"Mlinčići" near Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jajce is a town in central Bosnia and Herzegovina in the federal canton of Central Bosnia.
Jajce is a town in central Bosnia and Herzegovina in the federal canton of Central Bosnia. It is located at the crossroads between Banja Luka and Mrkonjić Grad and Donji Vakuf, where the rivers Pliva and Vrbas meet. Only a few kilometres from the town are the Great and Little Pliva Lakes, where the medieval mills (the locals call them "Mlinčići") are very interesting as a special historical landmark. Nineteen wooden shrines on the water covered with shingles, built for the purpose of grinding grain, are built of old oak wood and are without an attic, windows and chimney.
Historians estimate that there were originally 33 of them, and their construction dates back to the Middle Ages. The first written mention of mills dates back to 1562, but old records show that at that time, during the Ottoman Empire, as many as 24 were built on waterfalls, and 6 of them were not in operation. In the 17th century, according to some records, there were as many as 26 operating mills on Lake Pliva, to which the surrounding inhabitants brought their grain for grinding.
The setting of the mills is very interesting, which is in incredible harmony with the natural terrain and has been a unique view of Lake Pliva from the very beginning. It would be interesting to watch old men and women centuries ago carrying sacks of grain to the mills and bowing with dignity at their entrances. The mills were owned by wealthier landowners who rented and used the mills to the surrounding population. The usage tax was paid by the users in the produced goods and amounted to 10% of the total flour produced. Each family had at their disposal a specific day of the week when they could use the mills, and the said schedule was strictly adhered to. The open door indicated that millers were present in the mill, and the closed one indicated that the mill was not currently operating. This also meant that the closed mill was not accessible, which indicates the high morals and culture of the then inhabitants of the area.
The mill consisted of several parts (drive wheel, drive axle, trough, millstone, granary (), and the millers regulated the water to them with special locks on the lake. The water was led through the trough to the drive wheel, which drove the drive shaft for the millstone. With a special lever for raising the millstone, they regulated and, if desired, adjusted the quality of grinding or. fineness of flour. Over time, the mills lost their importance due to industrial development and fast life, which almost led to their downfall. The invaluable historical and ethnological value of the most interesting mills is in fact a mirror of the Bosnian tradition and the foundation for the preservation of the former way of life in this area, so in 2005 they began their restoration. In 2009, the mills on Lake Pliva were declared a cultural monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina of special importance and are one of the key elements in the development of tourism in the wider area of the town of Jajce.
The signs to their location were less well marked at the time of our visit, but the hustle and bustle of the lakes led us to them. The Great and Small Pliva Lakes offer a lot of sports and recreational opportunities for the surrounding residents. On the shores of the lakes and around the mentioned mills, there were a lot of people who enjoyed fishing, picnicking and playing in the park and canoeing. We also noticed a lot of cyclists, hikers and a few swimmers, and we hardly found a parking space. Despite the hustle and bustle, visiting the mills was a special experience. If the path accidentally takes you to the mentioned places or passes them, We highly recommend them.