CULTURAL LANDSCAPE | The Route of Iron
This route goes from iron mining, its transformation both manually or in an industrial process, and to its use in the architecture and engineering, to know the iron processing that has been a reference to know the history and reality of the Basque Country. The Route of Iron goes through Zerain, Legazpi, Ormaiztegi and Beasain, being part of their landscapes.
The Route starts at Zerain, at the mining site that provided the necessary iron to the surrounding ironworks from the 12th to the 19th century. It’s the perfect place to know the whole development of iron processing, with traces of the Middle Ages mixed with modern mining: galleries, open air quarries, powder bunkers, railways, storages, coal deposits, calcination furnaces, and the transport system that brought the iron to Ormaiztegi using aerial cables, railways and tunnels.
The next stop of the route is the ironworks of the Mirandaola Park at Legazpi. This ironworks was active at least from the 15th to the 19th centuries, and now is completely restored: water canal, wheel, bellows, anvil, etc. It’s possible to see how it used to work, and an audiovisual of the park shows the development of the iron at Legazpi valley. Lenbur Foundation also offers a wide tourist offer.
From Legazpi we’ll go to Ormaiztegi: there we can see a 289 meter long railway bridge, with 18000 tons of iron, as a great example of the use of iron. The bridge was built by Eiffel’s predecessor engineer Alexander Lavalley, a masterpiece of calculation of stresses and use of iron. At Ormaiztegi there’s also a museum dedicated to it’s son and carlist general Tomas Zumalakarregi in which we can see the live and changes of the 19th century.