The Iron Route of the Pyrenees (RDHEP) includes three Catalan heritage spaces: Cercs Mining Museum (Berguedà), the Palau Forge in Ripoll (Ripollès) and Alt Forn ironworks in Anglès (Selva). The aim of this route is to study, conserve and showcase the heritage relating to iron manufacturing and its industry in the Pyrenees.
The route follows the pattern of a common itinerary for numerous spaces of five neighbouring regions: the Principality of Andorra, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Languedoc-Roussillon and Aquitaine. It includes the following institutions: Provincial Council of Guipuzcoa; Lenbur Foundation; the Town Councils of Beasain, Eibar, Zerain / Besain, Mutiloa and Ormaiztegi; Community of Pays de Nay; National Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC); Ariège General Council; General Council of Hautes-Pyrénees; Fer et Savoir Faire Association; Community of Ordino, and the Government of Andorra.
The aim of the Iron Route of the Pyrenees is to offer the general public the keys to understanding the history of iron and its production and manufacturing through the study, conservation and promotion of this heritage which includes mines, coal factories, forges, worker and managerial accommodation, iron architecture and contemporary sculptures.
Cercs Mining Museum is a museum dedicated to coal, explaining techniques and history. It is also designed as an interpreting centre promoting relations between coal and the surrounding geology, landscape, economy and people in Alt Berguedà. The permanent exhibition in the museum explains coal extraction, the importance of mining infrastructures, and coal transport, classification and use, as well as everyday life in the mine.
Palau Forge in Ripoll was one of the last iron production sites in Catalonia and provides an account of the evolution of the forge, where iron was manufactured. Its most unique features are the two hammers installed with metallic cushions, elm handle, steel mesh and other mechanisms.
The tower of Alt Forn ironworks in Anglès, alongside the remains of the warehouses and former construction of this industrial site are the single most important complex conserved in Catalonia relating to the failed attempts to develop a steel industry to rival that of Europe. Under the name La Ferrería Catalana, it was created in Anglès in 1855 and despite the ambitious project, the major investment and quickly becoming a public company, the results were not as expected and this installation designed to emulate others in the north of Spain and north of Italy was forced to close down in 1867.26 February 2018