Mirambel Washhouses

Upstairs washhouse

Stone construction alternating irregular masonry with regular ashlars. The washhouse, the trough and the fountain are part of the complex.

In the book of Benigno Palos FabregatApuntes para la Historias de mi pueblo Mirambel” published in 1927 says of this laundry:

“Known for the high fountain outside the walls, there is another of greater condition, so much so that if it were easy to export it could be sold with advantage to other similar ones of great fame. (These waters come from the Palomita mountain, its course up to the so-called dry orchard has three entrances and three exits, following the slopes of the plains)”.

In 1917, Benigno Palos commissioned an analysis of this spring to better understand the properties of its waters. Of them he says that “the sick find easy relief, especially those who suffer from breathing and asthma. After fifteen days of taking them, a great relief is noticed, superior to that obtained in spas of great fame“.

The washhouse of the Fuente alta has two pools, both of which are standing pools. It is more modern and wider, and it prevented women from going down to the lower part of the village. Likewise, one was for washing and the other for rinsing. The fountain next to this washhouse was built at the end of the 19th century, although the current work dates from 1934 and was paid for by Mr. Ramón Barceló, a wealthy man of the town, whose initials can hardly be seen on the fountain.

It is a beautiful set of fountain, washhouse and trough that allows to take advantage of the abundant water that arrives to the place. The surplus water from the washhouse flows out through a channel located under the exterior trough From there, through a channel in the ground, it was used to irrigate several orchards in turns. Every two days it was the turn of an orchard, including the priest’s, and so on until the tour was completed for all those who had signed up and had the right to do so. After the 48 hours had elapsed, they had to cover their water inlet and pass it on to the next one, otherwise, the next one had the power to take the water away and divert it to his orchard.

The washhouses, as well as the oven, were the places where the village was tidied up. There they criticized and solved the day to day life of the locality, even producing important fights, according to the grandmothers. At the same time, the type of clothing worn by each neighbor and the whole family was “chafed” and then criticized.

Downstairs washhouse

It is a small construction, made of very irregular masonry. Two thick pillars that support the roof are built on a low wall. The interior of the vessel is at ground level and attached to the wall, with a single line of stone washbasins.

In the book of Benigno Palos FabregatApuntes para la Historias de mi pueblo Mirambel” published in 1927 says of this laundry:

“Within the walls of the town, in its lower part, there is a plentiful fountain, which supplies the neighbors with leftovers for consumption and washing clothes, and the surplus fertilizes different orchards that produce rich fruits and tasty vegetables”.

It is known that the low fountain was originally located outside the wall, so it was necessary to extend the wall to have water inside the town, both for daily use and for the inevitable use of the washing places.

These sinks of the low fountain are for washing on one’s knees. The covered one was for washing, while the uncovered or large one was used for rinsing, since clean water came out of the fountain. Before the works there were several stones or washstones that have now disappeared.

There is also a curious exterior stone well, which was used to wash some different types of garments, as well as dyes and, in particular, wool washes. It was also used to wash the thistles to remove the soil before feeding them to the animals.