KONAVLE WITHIN THE REPUBLIC OF DUBROVNIK
At the time Konavle came under Dubrovnik rule in 1419/1426, there were 15 water mills in the region, six of them on the River Ljuta. According to the Land Registry from 1427, on the occasion of handover, a patch of land around the existing mills, the size of one quarter of a “zlatica” (One Zlatica equals 1678 m2) was reserved for the unloading and loading of cereals and for the grazing of animals used in the transportation of wheat and flour.
Having established their rule over the region, the Dubrovnik authorities started to develop extensive agricultural activities in Konavle in the course of the 15th Century, and in particular the growing of grain. Additional quantities of flour and rusk biscuit had to be ensured for the needs of the crews of merchant sailboats and, with the growing populations on the other side, an increase in cereal production was needed. According to the population census, over 15,000 inhabitants lived in Konavle in 1500.
All this required the construction of new mills, so that at the beginning of the 19th Century the total number of mill houses grew to 12, of which nine mill houses housed one mill each and three of them housed two mills, thus a total of 15 mills. They were divided into Upper Mills, situated in the upper course of the river, and Lower Mills, in the lower, southern part. The Upper Mills were characterized by steep sluices, several tens of meters long, while those of the Lower mills were several hundred meters long due to the flat ground.