Visitors who come to Igartza will know first-hand the history of this important place and the changes that have been happening over the centuries. The buildings that make up the complex are witness to this history; thus, with the visit of the hermitage, the palace, the dam, the ironworks and the mill, it is possible to know the fascinating history of Igartza.
A reference of the iron production
From the late Middle Ages until the XIXth century the hydraulic forges were very important for the economy of Gipuzkoa. In them iron was produced and afterwards forged, making tools, nails, weapons, etc. Using wood from the surrounding forests, iron ore from the mines and the hydraulic energy of the Oriariver, Igartza forge became a reference of the iron production. The first references date from the XVth century. Still visible are the remnants of the forge restored in1782, and the remnants of the crucibles of the XIVth and XVth century.
In the year 1860, two members of the families that operated the forges of Igartza and Ihurre, Domingo Goitia and Martin Usabiaga, together with Francisco de Arana, created the Fábrica de Hierros San Martín one kilometre downstream, the second blast furnace in the Basque Country. Later, the factory was renamed Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).
A timber treasure
The forge needed the power of water to move the machinery, and this was gathered in a dam that kept the height of the water, and brought to the forge through a channel. The dam that was built in 1568 is exhibited today. It is built in several levels of huge timber beams, and covered by caulked wooden planks. It is the only dam with these characteristics accessible to the public in all Europe. The water channel built in 1782 is also almost entirely preserved.
Igartza forge is not only a witness of the industrial tradition of Beasain, it is also a testimony of the context of the Middle Ages, and that gives it an added value. All of Igartza Monumental Complex is available for visitors.
The property of the lords available to the people
At one side we haveIgartza palace, which was the home of the lords. It was built at the end of the XVth century by order of Maria of Igartza, and rebuilt around 1530. It has a square floor plan and a wooden structure, and is distributed around a big central patio. At the front of the main façade we can see the remnants of the tower house and the walls from the end of the XIVth century.
At the other side, the forge and the mill, which fuelled the economy of the lords.The flour was produced using the same hydraulic infrastructure of the forge, and they also baked bread. The first references of the Igartza mill are from 1431. The one that we can see functioning nowadays was built in 1740.
To complete the complex we have a travellers inn from 1611(now a hotel), a bridge from the XVIth century and a chapel from the XVIIth century, witnesses of the importance of the crossroads at that times.
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Latitude: 43.04730929999999 | Longitude: -2.2089915999999903