The « Rech dels Molins » is a water channel which provided water for the mills of Laroque des Albères.
Water was of prime importance during the Middle Ages, so precious that it was meticulously managed and was the object of disputes and even court cases.
Le rech dels Molins is an irrigation channel. « Rech » is catalan for channel or stream.
The « rech » takes water from the river of Laroque at a place called les Caranques, at the height of Rocavella. It flows gently for 1 km, with a gradient of 18m, and then accelerates through a gorge called the 'Salt' and down into the village.
Although there are no documents which give the exact date of its construction, it is estimated that it was constructed in the thirteenth century as a lot of these channels appeared in Catalonia at that time, followed by mills appearing in the beginning of the fourteenth century.
It was known as 'The Mill Channel ' in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, then as 'The Village Channel' in the nineteenth century
The complex network of water channels, some as long as several kilometres, operated in order to provide water for mills, households, animals, gardens and communal and private reservoirs. The Laroque channel, 2,279 metres long, is one of the longest on the northern side of the Albères.
It is still in operation today, managed by the Gardening Association of the Tanyari, in accordance with its charter.