The Niederanven mill


Niederanven: a mill township

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The water cas­cade in the Sen­nin­gen brook above the mill, from where the trench led to the mill (blocked today).

Nieder­an­ven is one of the com­mu­ni­ties with the most of mills in Lux­em­bourg. In the begin­ning of the 19th cen­tu­ry, 12 mills were run simul­ta­ne­ous­ly (5 near the Hostert brook and 7 at the brook of Sen­nin­gen). Besides oil seed (ground and squeezed) also paper, cloth and leather was lum­bered and wood­en trunks serrated.

Ban mills

The old­est mills (from the begin­nings of the 9th cen­tu­ry) had been the ban mills. The land lords had the right to run the mills and their sub­jects the duty to serve the mill mas­ter and give the prod­ucts to the land­lord. Every con­tempt against this ban law was pun­ished. The mill mas­ter at these times a free and respect­ed per­son, gath­ered the har­vest­ed prod­ucts to hand them over to the land­lord. For this rea­son he had nev­er been very pop­u­lar. In spite of the citizen’s grow­ing resis­tance, this sys­tem had been applied up to the time of the French rev­o­lu­tion, around 1795. After the inva­sion of the French troops, the ban mills had been privatized.

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The ban mill from Niederanven

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The old mill stones from the French Cham­pagne are the only tech­ni­cal left­overs from the old mill.

The first record of the Nieder­an­ven ban mill can be found on doc­u­ments from the 17th cen­tu­ry, but is sup­posed that the mill had been there long before. It had been pow­ered by the brook of Sen­nin­gen (Aal­bach). A small water cas­cade can still be found near the mill. The landown­ers of the site changed often but the most famous was prob­a­bly the phar­ma­cist Rademach­er from Lux­em­bourg City, the same that ran the ther­a­peu­tic bath in Nieder­an­ven. It is rather sure that there had been sev­er­al mill stones (2 made of stone from the French Cham­pagne and one big mill wheel of about 4.50 m diameter).


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View from 1939 on the mill, short­ly before it stopped its service.

Around 1940, the mill ser­vice stopped its busi­ness and in 1955 a local farmer bought the site for the pas­tures around the mill. The build­ings degen­er­at­ed and in 1974 the mill had been sold for pri­vate pur­pos­es, which spared him from com­plete destruc­tion and the new own­er, an expert in restor­ing, trans­formed the old ruins into a beau­ti­ful coun­try house.

The St.Lucia Chapel

02_NA_NM (6)On the old land reg­is­ter maps from 1824 you can notice the pres­ence of a chapel, close to the mill on the way out to Müns­bach. It was ded­i­cat­ed to St. Lucia and was sup­posed to be the old­est sanc­tu­ary in Niederanven.

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When the new parish church had been con­struct­ed in 1851, the chapel slow­ly degen­er­at­ed and the only wit­ness from these times is the old chan­ti­cleer from the chapel’s tower.

The tan mills in Niederanven

As a man­ag­er of the St. Lucia Chapel you can find the name of a cer­tain “Fell­mach­er” (mean­ing fur mak­er), wit­ness­ing that there had also been tan mills in Nieder­an­ven. The pow­er of the water had been used to grind the barks, wood or leaf of the oak trees, rich in tannin.