Legazpi, 45 km south-west of San Sebastian, is the chief town of the Urola-Garaia region. Ironmaking has a long history in the area, but the industry was of particular importance from the mid-nineteenth century until the contraction of the Patricio Echeverria company in the 1970s and 80s caused a social crisis in the area.
The LENBUR (i.e. Legazpi: Natura eta Burdina) project originated with an initiative of Legazpi Town Council in 1994, and the foundation was formally constituted in 1997. Its objectives are to promote research into the industrial and ecological heritage of the region, and to promote its interpretation, both to those who live there and to visitors. From its headquarters in the Bikuna Palace, a seventeenth century building that was once the home of the Bikuna family, who had substantial interests in the local ironworks, the foundation organises meetings, exhibitions and archaeological excavations.
The trust’s principal permanent display is the Basque Iron Museum housed in a former iron foundry in Legazpi, where the history of iron is interpreted in technological, ecological and social contexts. The museum is also the starting point for several trails which guide visitors to the monuments associated with ironworking, including, in the nearby Mirandaola Park, a pelota court with iron walls.