This route takes you back to the roots of our mining past, which formed the basis of the industrial development of Bizkaia.
From Santurtzi, drive to the POBAL IRON-WORKS. This 16th century, water-powered iron-works smelted ore into metal and produced tools and domestic utensils.
It offers tours on Saturdays, in which visitors can see two of the water-powered machines in operation.
15 minutes’ drive from the iron-works lies the Gallarta district of the municipality of Abanto-Zierbena, home of the BASQUE MINING MUSEUM.
This museum features a huge collection of mining tools and equipment. It seeks to study and inform about the history and culture of mining in the Basque Country.
Beside the museum is the Concha II mine viewing balcony, with an astonishing view over the old mine, which is so deep that Burgos Cathedral would fit inside it.
Just a few minutes’ drive from the end of the road stands the LA ARBOLEDA MINING TOWN. This is one of Europe’s best preserved traditional mining settlements.
The Mining Museum organises tours of the shanty-type houses where the thousands who poured in from the rest of Spain to work the mines were housed.
The tour shows the poverty and precariousness of the daily lives of these workers, who laid the foundations for the industrial prosperity of Bizkaia and the Basque Country in general.