The Devil’s Mill in Czerniawa Zdrój

At the end of the XIX century the village called Czerniawa Zdrój (Bad Schwarzbach) was already a health-resort with a population of 300 citizens living in 80 houses. In 1890 a watermill was built just above the Czarny Potok what is believed to be the place of the former mill, which dates back to 1840.
The present Devil’s Mill is equipped in the original appliances and devices from the past, for instance: a roller mill (used for the preliminary grain milling), a grain mill, a crushing mill, a corn elevator, a corny-charging hopper, spouts, a flat mixer, silos, a sorting machine and many other typical mill equipment elements from the turn of the XIX and the XX century. The appliances were powered by an overshot water-wheel with a diameter of 650 centimeters and buckets able to hold 50 liters of water. The water-wheel was placed in a special room. The power was transferred by the wooden transmission onto the steel shaft fixed under the ceiling. The shaft was equipped in twelve belt pulleys of a differentiated diameter that transferred the torque via the transmission belts to the particular devices. At the time of its construction, the mill was really modern and mechanized. The grain was transported to chutes by the mechanical elevators. Every appliance had worked until the water-wheel’s axle broke down in 1951. After six years the water drive was replaced with an electrical engine. Until 1998, the mill offered milling services and produced mainly flour. A year later, an one hundred years old bread oven was installed in the mill and bread baking had begun.The Devil’s Mill, as a tourist attraction, has been opened to public by its owner, Mr. Adam Pietrasz in 2004. There are two rooms available for sightseeing: the living room and the kitchen. Besides several milling appliances one can also take a look at a churn, a centrifuge used to draw a cream from a milk, trestle helpful while taking off shoes, a manual mangle, an iron, a sewing machine, a spinning wheel, an oil lamp, a bed, clothes, a trunk and many other devices inevitable at home. In the mill one can eat a fresh bread baked with the use of leavening according to the old

recipes, for example:  a white made of wholemeal bread, a wholewheat made of wholemeal and a grit bread or a wholemeal made of whole grains bread.The mill is situated in Czerniawa Zdrój on 5 Lwówecka Street and is open every day from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.

The telephone number is 0757845325.
www.swieradowzdroj.pl/Czarci-mlyn/s-151-176

The sightseeing is led by the owner prior to the previous phone call arrangement. Here are the owner’s tips before entering the building. He advises that before one enters the mill, one shall touch the lion head to protect oneself against the devil. Otherwise he will spill the eyes with flour and steal the bread. And bread means repletion, happiness and prosperity. According to the owner, the name of the mill comes from the two black cats – “devils”, which hunt mice and rats to prevent any losses caused by the pests in the mill. It is said that there were plenty of them in the past. There is also an old legend explaining the name of the mill which is as follows.
Once upon a time there was a wooden mill instead of the modern one. It belonged to Bożydar who had always complained about poverty, the lack of clients, problems with water that powered the mill and about misfortune whatsoever. One day an unknown, mysterious, silent but hardworking farmhand came along. It was not a long time when he and his ideas made the miller a wealthy man. The miller got married shortly with a girl from the nearby village. The wealthier he were, more greedy and mean he became. He sent the farmhand away. He was not happy with his marriage and could not conceive a child. When his final time came the farmhand appeared and took him for a walk. It was a way to…hell. Then Bożydar realized that the help with becoming wealthy was the way for the devil to take away his soul. After the miller’s death his wealth was soon gone and after some time, instead of the wooden mill a new brick one was built and called the “Devil’s”.

Edited by Andrzej Mateusiak
Translation: Andrzej Rudkowski

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