The Cascading Mills of Folón and Picón

Built on the slopes of Monte Campo do Couto, in the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain, the historic mills of Folón and Picón resemble a perfectly aligned staircase. They cascade down the slopes with a symmetric motion. There are a total of 60 mills that were built starting from the 1700s to make use of the nearby streams known as Folón and Picón. The mills are built in two groups. The first group called Picón Mills, is located near the Picón stream and consists of 24 mills. The other group called the Folón Mills, consists of 36 mills and is located near the Folón stream.

Mills of Folón and Picón

To make them share the same water channel they were arranged in a cascade.

The mills were built in a simple manner. Most of them are two-story buildings built from stone with the actual mill situated on the top floor while the first floor has machinery that drives the mill. On their own, they don’t really attract attention but their perfect formation cascading down the hills makes them special as each mill can take advantage of the same streams. The energy provided by the streams was utilized to grind wheat and corn, as well as to process linen and wool. The mills are no longer operational, but they signify a cultural and ethnographic heritage for the El Rosal region.


Today, they stand as a collective creation. However, it was likely that each mill was owned by different bodies when they were built. They belonged to the private owners, or they were communal property that belonged to the village. And some of them were rented out. If there were any disputes among the owners, that did not reflect the layout plan. In 1998, the Government of Galicia declared the site a Cultural Interest. Since their construction, they have been maintained and taken care of by the locals.

Mills of Folón and Picón
Mills of Folón and Picón
Mills of Folón and Picón
Mills of Folón and Picón