guida di Bilbao

Bilbao guide. The Basque Country between pintxos and Guggenheim

A city with determination. If we wanted to summarize in a single word (if it is possible) the soul of Bilbaothe most important city of Basque lands, you could just use this formula. Yes, because it is precisely with the determination and the ability to look ahead that in less than twenty years Bilbao has transformed itself from an anonymous industrial city into one of the destinations coolest in Spain. The beauty is that the determination has not canceled the authenticity of the city and its people that, of course, it is Spanish. But above all she is Basque. That’s why a Bilbao guide must tell museums And monuments but also to remember that the Basques have always been closely tied to their traditions. And the language and the food. In this sense, little has changed over the course of hundreds of years, even though the city is now completely new and different. Also thanks to the visionary insights of some archistar.

Up, more or less to 1990 Bilbao was known for her role as commercial city and productive, strong in heavy industry and shipbuilding. And the tourists, for the most part, passed direct to other destinations considered more fascinating. Then everything changed: in 1997 lto construction of Guggenheim museum, risen along the river where once no one would have stopped, it has transformed the face of Bilbao. And what revolves around it. Yes, because as any guide to Bilbao after Guggenheim the fever of modernity has started: the subway stations were designed by Norman Fosterthe bridge Zubizuri bears the signature and recognizable style of Santiago Calatrava as well as the airport while the iconic towers were designed by architects Arata Isozaki And César Pelli. If you then add the Palace of Congresses and Music Euskaldunathe relaunch project of the district of Zorrotzaurre and the music festival that takes place in July you will understand why the grit is served. And now it attracts throngs of tourists.

Bilbao guide

Bilbao guide: the seven streets of Casco Viejo

But we are in the Basque country. And we said it, the tradition still matters here. That’s why for those coming from outside – but also for the locals – the heart of the city remains in the medieval streets of the Old Town on the right bank of the river Nervión. The area, which everyone calls Las Siete Calles (aka the Seven Streets) is a pleasant one labyrinth of streets once degraded and now cleaned up and elegant where you can go from a trendy shop to a local specialized in pinxtos. That is the local name of those that a Madrid they call tapas.

Somera, Artecalle, Tendería, Belosticalle, Carnicería Vieja, Barrencalle and Barrencalle Barrena: our Bilbao guide reminds you that these are the names of the seven streets in Spanish while in the difficult Basque language they become tongue twisters to challenge each other with. Proof: Las Siete Calles translated into Basque becomes Zazpikaleak. The area of ​​the city between these streets, especially around Plaza Nueva, is a continuous succession of bars specializing in pintxos. And often these are true culinary works of art.

Bilbao guide

Bilbao guide: from the port to tourism

Our Bilbao guide says that the city was born as a very active center in trade around 1300 taking advantage of the presence of the river to make goods travel. Then a continuous development linked to metalworking until 1800 when it was involved in Carlist Wars. But the real one devastation arrived in 1937 when the nationalist troops destroyed the bridges after the Basque autonomous government was installed here. Meanwhile, the wealth still came from industries but these certainly did not help to make the city more beautiful than at the time of decline of industrial activities he found himself experiencing a profound crisis. Fortunately, the choice to invest heavily in the sector of tourism, of the culture And in the urban revitalization proved successful. The feisty Bilbao won. And now she is striding out in her success story.

Bilbao guide

Without a doubt the best time of the year to visit Bilbao is in month of augustwhen the weather is hot and dry and the biggest party of the year takes place, Nagusia auctions. The periods in which rainfall is concentrated are spring and autumn while the winters are relatively warm.

Bilbao guide: the Guggenheim Museum

Most tourists who visit Bilbao first point to the Guggenheim Museum, which has now become the symbol of the city. Any Bilbao guide will tell you that the building itself is a work of art, considered an example of innovation in 20th century architecture. It was designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry using science fiction-era software that came from the aerospace industry and built between 1993 and 1997. Inside the building, 24,000 square meters of exhibition space houses works from both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. In the atrium there is a corridor that acts as a “signature” for the architect who has focused heavily on the light that filters through giant windows to illuminate the works. The collection brings together works of great importance by artists ranging from the 1950s to the present day with works, among others, by Mark Rothkode Kooning, Kiefer, Jim Dine, Basquiat. Exhibits physically take place in what are called le 19 galleriesthat is a system of suspended walkways and glass towers.

Bilbao guide

Outside is the famous and highly photographed Puppya huge flower dog made by the American artist Jeff Koons. The work was made with 70 thousand flowers in 1992 and represents a purebred dog West Highland White Terrier. But it is thirteen meters high. An artificial lake surrounds the museum but it is no coincidence: it too is part of a work of art since it incorporates the Fire Fountain of Yves Klein. In the museum to testify Bilbao’s passion for food is the Nerua starred restaurant.

After the triumph of modernity, our Bilbao guide takes you to something that best represents tradition: the Museum of Fine Arts. This museum houses an interesting collection housed in two separate buildings. The ancient building collects the works of European masters of the period between the 14th and 17th centuries with Dutch and Flemish masterpieces. There are also important works by Spanish authors, including El Greco, Velázquez And Francisco GoyaItalian paintings and French masterpieces including a splendid one Gaugain. An entire floor is dedicated to works by Basque artists, including 22 paintings by the landscape architect Dario De Regoyos (this is the largest collection of his works in a single museum). The modern part, on the other hand, houses mainly works by contemporary Spanish artists in its building. A stone’s throw from here is the celebre restaurant Zortziko. It has three Michelin stars and is a unique place for the creativity of its chef.

Bilbao guide

Bilbao guide: strolling through the ancient streets

It is a container of charm and history. And the Casco Viejo of Bilbao which is located on the right bank of the river, between the bridge of San Antón and the church of San Nicolás. The historic center is connected by five bridges with the New Town and the core of the Casco Viejo is located around You are Calles: Somera, Artecalle, Tenderia, Belosticalle, Carnicería Vieja, Barrencalle and Barrencalle Barena. In the northern part of the historic center around the puente del Arenal is located the Paseo del Arenal, the main artery of this part of Bilbao. Nearby, on the Plaza de Arriagawe note the Arriaga theater, an elegant neo-baroque theater that was inspired by the Palais Garnier from Paris. Built in 1890 and renovated, the Arriaga Theater it is the cultural center of the city and here classical music concerts and theatrical performances take place. Another important landmark in the Casco Viejo is theIglesia de San Nicolás de Bare. This beautiful church has a baroque facade and a curious octagonal-shaped interior; The church dates from the 14th century but was completely rebuilt in 1756. Continuing south past the church of San Nicolástravelers can enjoy a pleasant stop in the Plaza Nueva. The square is surrounded by elegant arcaded buildings under which there are the windows of many restaurants and bars with expanses of outdoor tables. Farmers’ festivals and markets are also held here, offering local fruit and vegetables.

Plaza Nueva

Finally in our walk following the guide of Bilbao Here is the Basque Museum also called museum Fernando Jiménez. Here visitors can discover the local culture and history of the Basque region somewhat like a similar museum located in San Sebastian. Housed in a beautiful Baroque building in the heart of the Viejo helmet the museum is divided into three different departments that document the different aspects of the culture of this people: archeology, ethnography And history. The archeology section displays prehistoric finds from sites scattered throughout the Basque lands. The ethnography department exhibits Basque crafts and folk art tastings while the history section is mainly devoted to the history of Bilbao and its seafaring activities in the period between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *