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Water mills

The water mills on the Krka River belong to the system of pre-Industrial plants.

They bear witness to the traditional way of life and earning a living that was in place until the early 20th century, with the continuity of the heritage from earlier historic period. The best preserved, and now restored watermills are at Skradinski buk. These are an important monument of the economic past of Šibenik and the Šibenik region, and in the past were one of the main economic drivers of the city. They were first mention in a document from 1215, in which King Bela III demarcated the dividing line between Šibenik and Trogir. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the water mills on the Krka River were important for the entire Adriatic coast, as wheat was milled here for numerous towns, from Dubrovnik to Istria.

The existing water mills at Skradinski buk were predominantly built at the same place as older mills, destroyed during the Battle of Cypress and the Cretan War. They typically have rural stylistic characteristics, making it more difficult to date the structures. According to historical records, they can be dated to around the time of the end of the Turkish threat, at the turn of the 18th century. The walls of the mills were built with stone and travertine, with mortar made of a combination of limestone and sand or clay. The roof and inner construction was made of wood, and the roofing was most often stone slabs. The construction of the water mills follows the configuration of the land, and rock faces and caves were also used. Today, access to the mills is on paths made of irregular rocks.

The largest preserved structure is the Gornja kuća or Upper House at Skradinski buk, has a water mill, kitchen upstairs, the miller's flat and the stales. On the ground floor are six restored mills, i.e. milling wheels, which functioned as crushers. The grindstone functioned by grinding and cutting the material between two mill stones, one of which turned (each having a coarse surface with rough edges). Next to the water mill, the dike for collecting water and six supply canals to the milling wheels have been preserved. The extension of the mill, in the middle of a cave, is the column where homemade cloth and blankets were completed. A strong stream of water would hit the top of the beam and turn two strong wooden hammers, which would pound the cloth to soften it. The column also contains washing holes in which various cloth products were washed and softened.