CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Iron mining has been very important at the History of the Basque Country. Iron has been mined at the 150 hectares of the mines of Aizpea for centuries starting at the 11th century. This exploitation has created a special landscape, the landscape of the iron lands.

Nowadays, the mining site of Aizpea is known as the Iron Mountain, the Culture Department of the Basque Government has declared it a Monumental Group, and is located inside the Aizkorri Aratz Natural Park. Several investigations are going to take place to discover the real value of this place. Aizpitta interpretation centre has been created to preserve all this and show it to the visitors, using the newest technologies to show the process of iron in a friendly way.

History and iron process

The first references of the mines of Aizpea date back to the XIth century, and the iron mines have been closely linked to the people or Zerain from then until the furnaces were closed in 1951.

Through all these centuries the mines have been exploited in different ways, first being owned by lords, then by English capital and finally by German capital.

The Iron Mountain keeps abundant remains of mining: underground galleries, railroads, etc.
The different sections of Aizpitta Interpretation Centre show all this history and the iron process, using audiovisuals and modern showrooms.

Aizpitta Interpretation Centre It shows how important iron has been at the Basque Country, at Zerain and its surrounding. Its shows the influence of iron exploitation at the landscape, local economy, socio cultural live, etc. 

"Polborina" gallery, When all the surface iron ore was extracted, the ore had to be extracted using underground galleries. Nowadays we can find more than 200 galleries through the Iron Mountain. Only one of them is open for visitors, known as “polborina”

Calcination furnaces, The need of iron increased at the begining of the 20th century with the increase of the industrial activities, and new installations werw built to meet the new demand. We can see all the process of iron exploitation around these installations. There are iron carbonate and coalstorages, calcination furnaces, iron oxide storage, galleries, etc.nbsp;

Route around the Iron Mountain. There are several reoutes around and throught the Iron Mountain. Along these routes we can find different information tables showing different information:
- Working underground
- Open air quarries, source of mineral.
- Charcoal, the first fuel
- Watch the forest, it´sdeveloping continuously
- The dead trees of the forest are home for beetles.
- Our landscape, a masterpiece of farmers.
- Our bats, not blind nor blood suckers.
- Yew tree, poison and medicine in the same tree.
- Woodpecker, home builder for other forest animals.
- Inclined planes, mineral to the furnace in a moment.
- Mushrooms, the fruit of underground fungi.
- The steam train built by the English brought the 20th century to Zerain.
- German money vuilt a new railway and brought a diesel train.
- Burning the iron ore at the furnaces.
- Aizpea mining site.

Click HERE to make RESERVATIONS


TIMETABLE
-From September to June: weekends and holydays from 11:00 to 14:00 and from 15:30 to 17:30.
-Easter, July and Agust: from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 to14:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 DIFFERENT ROUTES LINKED TO THE MOUNTAIN:
- The Iron Route: Zerain, Legazpi and Ormaiztegi
- Goierri Iron Route: Zerain, Mutiloa, Ormaiztegi and Beasain.
- The Pyrenean Iron Route. 

 

 

 

 

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