Urola Garaia, the iron heart of Gipuzkoa
In the interior of Gipuzkoa, the Urola Garaia region offers countless activities related to industrial tourism, surrounded by green meadows, farmhouses and mountains. It is a spectacular environment with a lot of history, which still maintains the aroma of iron that has marked it so much over the centuries.
As well as strolling along the banks of the Urola River and observing the Mirandaola ironworks, this industrial character can be seen reflected in the old Legazpi Paper Mill, a space adapted for tourism where you can enjoy two experiences related to iron and the history of the territory: Chillida Lantoki and Fabrika Gunea.
Eduardo Chillida, one of the leading figures in Basque and world sculpture, created several of his famous, internationally renowned works in this workshop. Through an interactive immersion, as well as visiting the workshop and seeing first-hand the machines used in the creation of his art, Chillida Lantoki will immerse you in the fusion between art and industry that the sculptor from Gipuzkoa knew how to mould so well.
The process of industrialisation in the 20th century marked the character of the territory forever, leaving an indelible historical mark. In Fabrika Gunea, a new cultural space inside the Legazpi paper mill, this relationship between Urola Garaia and industry is more than palpable.
Explanatory panels accompanied by real items such as suitcases or clothes, recreations of spaces from the period such as infirmaries or laboratories, an area with an audiovisual format... are just some of the attractions of Fabrika Gunea.
Thanks to the different sections and elements on display, the museum offers a real image of the era, showing the arrival of workers, the role of women or the birth of trade unionism, among other events that marked a prosperous time for the territory.
The Urola Garaia experience is not complete without a visit to the Mirandaola Ironworks. The river Urola, whose meaning in Basque is a fusion of water and ironworks, lives up to its name with the dozens of ironworks that have dotted the landscape over the centuries. However, the only one that still revives that era with live exhibitions is Mirandaola.
Every Sunday, the forgers, as the forge workers were known, dressed in 16th century costume, set the machinery in motion. The water moves the gigantic bellows and hammer to strike the red-hot iron, creating a spectacle that is definitely worth experiencing. To round off the visit, you can enjoy a delicious pintxo-ferron cooked on the forge's embers. What more could you ask for?
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