The Pyrenean Iron Route
Certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe " in 2003
The Pyrenees region is rich in iron ore and has a centuries-old iron-making tradition. This activity generated economic wealth, and there remains a great deal of evidence of its past glories. Forestry, mining and processing factories have left substantial traces in both the rural and urba fabric of the mountain range.
The industrial heritage is an essential component of the wealth of societies. In particular, the working of iron in the Pyrenees left behind an important heritage, including mines, charcoal kilns and ironworks, as well as miners' and ironworkers' homes, some typical features of ironworks architecture and a series of contemporary sculptures.
The Iron Route invites us to learn about the transformation and commercialisation of iron from the 17th to the late 19th century. This route is a pleasant and interesting walk, suitable for all members of the public, through mountain scenery and combining culture and industrial history. Important sites include the Farga Rossell forge - Iron Interpretation Centre, the Lions mine, the road of the 'arrieros' and the Iron Men Route, Sant Marti de Ia Cortinada church and the Casa d'Areny-Piandolit Museum. Along the route, you will learn about everything related to each stage of the iron production process.
Council of Europe values
Iron is not only an important raw material but also the basis for the development of a rich culture around the working of this metal. The culture of iron served for centuries as a stimulus for intense trade and exchanges across European borders, contributing to the development of economies and creating a shared cross-border identity.