Located 8.5 kilometres from Eugi and 9 kilometres from the French border in the Pyrenean pass of Urkiaga, hidden among the beech trees of the forest of Quinto Real
lie the ruins of the munitions factory of Eugi
. This monumental complex covers 10,000 m2 and includes an old village which was once home to 500 people. This splendid 18th-century construction only retains its outer structure. The arches over the river Arga are the best conserved part.
To get to know the history of this Royal Armoury and the past of Eugi we recommend a visit to the Historical Reference Centre
of the locality.
In a strategic location near the French border with abundant natural resources, the Royal Munitions Factory of Eugi was built in 1776, adapting it to the slope of the hillside at a specific spot called Olaberri. It remained operational until it was destroyed by the French in 1794 in the War of the Pyrenees. Its main production was munitions for cannons and light iron weapons. During the factory?s years of service a village grew up next to it with a population of around 500 people. There was a school, a medical centre and even a chapel.
Despite the fact that this pioneering industry was of key importance to the Crown in the 18th century, at times in its history it had three foundries. As one closed another opened because the raw material (wood) resources nearby ran out.
Between the 15th and 17th centuries there was a foundry in the area of Olaondo, just below the present reservoir, which was later transferred to Olazar, 4 kilometres downstream, where there is a crossroads towards Irurita from the Urkiaga pass. Felipe II purchased it in 1536 and took on elite gunsmiths from Milan to work there. The main products were helmets, armour, cast iron bombs, grenades and munitions of different calibres. -Many of these weapons, and some curious items such as the child?s armour for Felipe III and Felipe IV, considered among the best of the world, can be seen in the Museo de Armería in Madrid-.
Nowadays, the ruins of the Royal Munitions Factory of Eugi maintain the essence of their structure and some of their arches and walls can be seen below the undergrowth in the shadow of the beech trees of Quinto Real. Like a similar factory at Orbaizeta, it is a good example of 18th-century industrial architecture, although less well-known than the other one.