Water power has always been important in the history of the city of Murcia in south-eastern Spain. There were eight mills on the River Segura and its associated canal in the late middle ages. The Molinos Nuevos (new mill) is first documented in 1363 when it was used for fulling woollen cloth, but it was later converted to grind grain. It was rebuilt many times but fell into disuse in the 20th century.
It was rehabilitated after an agreement between the government authorities concerned in 1985, and under the direction of the architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg was transformed into a cultural centre and museum of water power, that was completed in 1989. It now accommodates a permanent display explaining the workings of water mills, and the many ways in which mills influenced the workings of society. The museum makes extensive use of interactive and digital media, and the architect has received a succession of prizes for his work in adapting the building to new uses.