Wars have ravaged the area around Orbaitzeta for years. But the strength of nature in the Aezkoa Valley has finally proved stronger. During the reign of Carlos III in the mid 18th century, the town played host to a munitions factory that has now been overtaken by nature.
Just up the road from Orbaitzeta, there are abundant natural resources needed for munitions, namely iron ore and lead. Setting up an arms factory in the forests and valleys of the area seemed almost natural. For almost a century, the factory created munitions for Spanish kings, but eventually fell into disuse after the death of Carlos III.
The site was subsequently pillaged, and caught fire a number of times. Finally, it was shut down permanently and abandoned in 1873. Today, it remains abandoned, but very much intact. It has become a mainstay for hikers in the area who scale the tunnels and ruins of the factory, most of which are now overrun with trees and wildlife.
Know Before You Go
A short hike from the village of Orbaitzeta