Cross-Border Project Objectives


“Mill” is not only one the most important machinery inventions of humanity, but also an important cultural-historical institution of civilization. A region with mill(s) meant a place of progress, communication, commerce and the chances for free economic relations. Mill, before recent times, was the place where those coming from the distance stopped, spent some time, exchanged their thoughts and built relationships. Being such a meeting point,mill was the most important communal place in provincial life – till the arrival of the technical and social changes of the 20th century.

Our fathers regarded on mills as privileged and sacred places. However, it was more than pure respect, since mill was put in that high position by law and religious moral too. Though, mills are technical facilities, they fulfilled a significant social role for many centuries. Being sanctuary places, they shared similar functions with churches or aristocratic courts. Theft, swearing, drinking or keeping alcohol in a mill were serious offenses. Secular authorities and the church were keen on preserving these attitudes towards mills, but those seemed to be natural for the people anyway. God and Bread were inseparable in their morality, thus, mills had uncommon respect, being the source of bread – the source of life.

Throughout history, borderlands were always multi-ethnic regions, where mills and also marketplaces meant the meeting point between people(s) and cultures. Beyond the presentation of technical and historical curiosities, the goal of our The Rout is to present the togetherness of cultures different and similar in the same time.Through mills we can grant some insights in their common history. For rediscovering traditional human relationships, a mill can be used in the same way it was used centuries ago. Mill, beside the church, represented  hard work, talent and knowledge of the people living nearby. When going along the “Miller’s Rout”, our common roots are revealed and one may discover the great achievements and the colorful creativity of the ancestors.

In our thematic rout we stress the importance of a social attitude. Running an old mill gives the chance to see the way of living in harmony with nature, from where we gain reliable and pure sources of energy – like water, wind and the power of animals. Future is about renewable energy. Making ground for sustainable development is vital and of common interest. Using the primal sources of energy is a necessity for that goal. Through mills we may develop an idea, of how that can be achieved without depleting our reserves and contaminating our environment.


Long-term Developement Plans of Orfű Mill Museum and Harmonization with HU-HR-IPA Project


County Baranya and its Central mountain, Mecsek, show a remarkable and divers picture in the history of mills. In 1876 more than 680 mills were registered only in this single county. Topically, they were grinding mills, but there was a large number of other types as well, such as oil presses, paper mills apple-crashers, gunpowder mills, ore-crushers, hemp-breaking mills, fulling mills and sawmills. Wheat grinding mills appeared in an interesting diversity too, there were windmills, dry mills, floating mills, brook mills, and further exciting mill-types.


The long term concept of Orfű Mill Museum is to realize a plan of a complex open air museum presenting the mill architecture of Baranya (instead of building an open-air museum complex for presenting Baranya County’s folk architecture – as it was dreamt in the 70s). Certainly, the renovated mills will not only be mere ‘exhibits’, we will use them in their original function, thus, one will have the opportunity to have a close insight in their fascinating world. With the help of craftsmen, our plan is to illustrate the connecting traditional trades, and for the braver visitors we would grant the opportunity for trying themselves in some of them.


The material submitted in the frame of HU-HR-IPA project can be divided into three parts:


  1. In order to put the mill in a usable state, the first part concerns with the renovation and restoration of the existing buildings, the machinery of the mills and the infrastructure. It was essential to clean up and stabilize the mill race for ensuring the water flow to the water mill.

    After its restoration, the miller’s summer kitchen and its oven is the place for presenting the making process of traditional bakery products – using the flour grinded in the mill. The focus of these presentations is on making bread on the base of the old bread recipes of Baranya nationality groups like Hungarian, Croatian and German.

    Our renovated mill yard is be the place for handicraft activities. Here, the guests (mainly children) have the chance for learning how to make homemade pasta, trying kneading, husk-weaving or making the harvest-wreath.

    We have equipped a projecting room in the attic of the water mill, where the archives of the Ethnographic Museum lead the guests into the old world of millers and their mills.

  2. Research was a very essential aspect of our project. Our goal was to finish a mill-focused historical research in Baranya and the border region, which will form the bases for our open-air mill skansen, where the different types of mills are planned to be transported and rebuilt. Furthermore, we wish to get an overview on the technical history of mills, and our work also concentrates on mapping up still existing mills and their machinery.
  1. Landscape architectural design was the third part of our project, which is consisted of three elements. Firstly, we set up the plans for a future trout farm, according to our concept to restore the former trout population in the creek. The second element was the development of the ‘Vízfő’ Natural Trail. Thirdly, the plans of a warehouse were constructed, which also would be a sight beside the mills.


Onthe Croatian side the most spectacular part of the IPA project was a reconstruction of an old ship-mill operating in Osijek, on the river Drava.