El Pobal foundry
The live museum that relates Biscay
The history and economic and social development of Bizkaia has been written in wrought iron for centuries. Even in ancient times, metal was distilled from mineral found on the surface by means of improvised furnaces made with mud in situ.
The discovery of underground mines led to the construction of foundries that shook bellows and trip hammers with mechanisms driven by water currents.
Such foundries explain many of the events that took place right there over the centuries: the development of towns and ports, the importance of the Lordship and also the intrigues and conflicts between partisan lineages. The subsequent arrival of industry carried with it blast furnaces, railways and large shipping companies. But the latter is much closer and more familiar.
El Pobal foundry and mill operated for half a millennium. It is the last of its kind to remain active in Bizkaia and the only one that has conserved a considerable part of its machinery.
nd anyone can see it by feeling the glow of the burning coals, listening to the clanging of the hammer on the red-hot iron and its crackling as it cools in the water.
The guided tour is a real immersive experience in history that begins with the perfectly preserved natural environment next to Barbadun River, very close to Bilbao.
very Saturday, there are several ironworks demonstrations, every hour between 10am and 2pm. Prices range from 2.50 to 5.50 euros.
A few kilometres away stands a fortified tower that reached its peak of glory 600 years ago and served as the residence of the lineage that owned El Pobal. In mid-July , “Las intrigas de Muñatones” (The Intrigues of Muñatones) is performed there.
In September, it dresses up and welcomes a host of historical reenactors who offer a journey into the past through activities, games and even a medieval horseback tournament.
You can also combine the guided visit to El Pobal Foundry and Muñtaones Castle.
Maria Antonia’s kitchen.
Cantabrian fish of the day. Ox Cattle and Major Cattle.
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After two years of meticulous work promoted by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia.
This photographed forest is located in Orozko, part of the Gorbea natural park.
Up into the heart of the mines