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Symbol of CEOI 2012

The springs around Tata created excellent conditions for water mills which used hydropower. No wonder that there were about 20 watermills operating in Tata.

The written sources mention watermills in Tata as early as the 13th century. In 1267 Queen Mary sold her watermill to ‘Walter Comes’. The diploma issued by Sigismund inducting Abbot Peter in 1388 gave the exact location of the six mills belonging to the abbey. During the reign of King Matthias Corvinus, his historian, Bonfini, wrote: “There are nine mills for graining crops on the creeks. They are inseparable from the castle even in wartime.” The constant war with the Turks did not spare the mills either, only ‘Cifra’-mill, next to the castle, survived the fights.

In 1727, Count József Esterházy bought Tata and the surrounding villages. His bailiff’s letter described the conditions of the existing seven watermills. A map from the 1830s shows fifteen mills.

Only four mills – Cifra-, Miklós-, Pötörke- and Wéber mill – worked until the 1950s. Developments in agriculture and mining in Tatabánya caused the final closing of the mills.

The 18th-century Baroque Pötörke mill was named after the family that originally owned it. Designed by Jakab Fellner, the mill was still in service between the two world wars. Today, it houses an artists’ studio and offices. Miklós mill was also designed by Jakab Fellner, it was turned into a shop and a pub.

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