The magnificent Sabandia Mill towers over the bucolic countryside, its white walls shining in the sun. Its sturdy buttresses, vaults, gargoyles, gates, and balconies, built of the white volcanic stone known as sillar, give it a character that has withstood the passing of time.
This architectural masterpiece was built in 1621. A Spanish colonist, Don García de Vargas Machuca, entrusted the construction of the mill to Francisco Flores, a “master of architecture and stonework,” according to an old document signed on 27 August before the colonial notary, Don Pedro Ibañez de Irruegas. The Spanish viceroy had granted García de Vargas Machuca the land and a permit to build a mill—"hazer un Molino en el asiento de Saguandía," as the signed document reads.
For centuries, Sabandia Mill provided flour to the villagers of Arequipa. The building still bears the marks of the countless laborers and farmers who supplied it with wheat and made the stone wheels turn, grinding the grain amid the murmur of the water that ripples gaily in the millstream.