Bilbao’s Historical and Modern Architectural Wonders: The Castile-Leon Guide

By | September 17, 2023

Bilbao’s Historical and Modern Architectural Wonders: The Castile-Leon Guide

Castile-Leon is the largest region of Spain and is famous for its rich historical heritage. One of the most important cities in this region is Bilbao. Bilbao is a city that draws attention with its historical and modern architectural wonders. In this article, we will explore Bilbao’s historical and modern architectural landmarks.

Historical Architectural Wonders

There are many architectural structures that reflect the historical texture of Bilbao. These structures tell the rich cultural past of the city to the visitors.

  • Bilbao Cathedral

    Bilbao Cathedral, Bilbao’s most famous historical structure, was built in the 14th century. The cathedral, which draws attention with its Gothic style, attracts the attention of visitors with its works of art and historical value. The exterior of the cathedral is also fascinating, with its strikingly ornate door.

  • Bilbao City Hall

    Bilbao City Hall is a neoclassical building built in the 19th century. Located in the city center, this historical building draws attention with its magnificent façade and stylish details inside. The council hall and the rooms of the city council inside the palace are open to visitors while preserving their historical texture.

  • San Anton Bridge

    San Anton Bridge is an iron bridge built in the 19th century. This bridge, which has become the symbol of Bilbao, is still in use while preserving its historical texture. From the bridge you can watch the magnificent view of the city and take a pleasant walk along the Nervion River.

Modern Architectural Wonders

Bilbao is famous for its modern architectural structures as well as its historical texture. These structures have given the city a modern look and attract the attention of tourists.

  • Guggenheim Museum

    One of Bilbao’s most famous modern architectural landmarks, the Guggenheim Museum was designed by Frank Gehry. The museum building draws attention with its titanium plates on its exterior. The museum, where contemporary works of art are exhibited, fascinates visitors both with its architecture and its content.

  • Iberdrola Tower

    The tallest building in Bilbao, the Iberdrola Tower was designed by Cesar Pelli. This skyscraper, which has a modern and simple design, has an important place in the skyline of the city. You can watch the panoramic view of the city from the Iberdrola Tower and have an unforgettable experience.


Architecture Building History Designer Bilbao Cathedral 14th century Unknown Bilbao City Hall 19th century Joachim Elizondo San Anton Bridge 19th century Sebastián Elcano Guggenheim Museum 1997 Frank Gehry Iberdrola Tower 2011 Cesar Pelli

Bilbao is a unique city that combines historical and modern architectural structures. It offers a different experience to the visitors with its historical texture and modern structures. When you visit Bilbao, we recommend that you take time to see its historical and modern architectural wonders.

Historical Heritage in Bilbao: Gothic Churches and Castle

Historical Heritage in Bilbao: Gothic Churches and Castle

Bilbao is a fascinating city located in the Basque Country of Spain. This city, which draws attention with its striking examples of modern architecture and historical buildings, fascinates especially with the Gothic churches and the historical heritage offered by the castle.

Gothic Churches

Gothic churches in Bilbao fascinate visitors with their architecture and historical significance. Here are some of the most important Gothic churches:

  • Santiago Cathedral: It is one of Bilbao’s most famous churches and offers one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. This magnificent structure, built in the 14th century, is one of the symbols of the city. It offers an unforgettable experience to its visitors with its stained glass windows, baroque decorations and fascinating atmosphere.
  • San Anton Church: It is one of the oldest churches in Bilbao and was built in the Gothic style. This 15th century church draws attention with its high ceilings and pointed arches in accordance with its style. It fascinates its visitors with its historical and artistic value.
  • San Nicolas Church: Located in the center of Bilbao, this church was built in the 18th century and displays a fusion of Gothic-Renaissance style. With its high towers and elegant windows, this church is one of the remarkable structures of the city.


Bilbao Castle, or more commonly known as La Salve Castle, is a historic landmark of the city. The castle rises above the Nervion River and has a wonderful panoramic view.

Built in the 13th century, the castle was expanded and renovated over time. This castle, which carries the traces of the medieval period and where you can see the effects of the Renaissance style, has great importance as a historical structure.

Building Architectural Style Built History Santiago Cathedral Gothic 14th century Church of San Anton Gothic 15th century Church of San Nicolas Gothic-Renaissance 18th century Bilbao Castle Mixed style 13th century

These historic churches and castles in Bilbao captivate their visitors by taking them on a journey through history. Churches displaying magnificent examples of Gothic architecture and the castle of historical importance are part of the richness of Bilbao’s historical heritage. These structures offer visitors the opportunity to explore the city’s past and better understand this fascinating city.

Casco Viejo is an impressive area located in Spain’s Basque Country and considered the historical center of Bilbao. This region is famous for its rich history and cultural heritage and offers its visitors a unique experience. With the discovery of Casco Viejo, you can dive deep into history and experience a rich cultural experience.

History of the Region

  • Casco Viejo has a history dating back to the 1300s. The region, which was established as a village in the Middle Ages, has become an important trade center over time.
  • Casco Viejo is a turning point in Bilbao’s history. The development of the town and its growing population has led to the expansion of this area.
  • Casco Viejo was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995 due to its historical and cultural significance. This status ensured the protection of the region and attracted the attention of tourists.

Places to visit

1. Santiago Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santiago is an impressive building located in Casco Viejo. Built in the Gothic style, the cathedral was completed in the 14th century. The sculptures, frescoes and stained glass inside are quite impressive and worth seeing.

2. Plaza Nueva

Plaza Nueva is the central square of Casco Viejo. Opened in 1821, this square is famous for its surrounding historical buildings and cafes. The markets and events taking place in this square allow you to witness the daily life of the region.

3. Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum is an important place that sheds light on the rich history of the region. Artifacts from ancient times are exhibited here and offer a visual feast to visitors. The museum also draws attention with works from the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.

4. Mercado de la Ribera

Here, visitors can discover the local flavors and fresh produce of the region. Mercado de la Ribera is Europe’s largest covered market and offers rich gastronomic experiences. Seafood, cheeses, wines and other traditional products can be found here.

Events and Festivals

Casco Viejo hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. These events are organized to celebrate the cultural richness of the region and to offer fun experiences to visitors.

Date Event/Festival July Aste Nagusia – The biggest festival in the region, celebrated with concerts, dance performances and traditional events. August Bilbao Festival – A wide-ranging event featuring music, dance, theater and street performances. November Zinebi Film Festival – The international short film festival offers an exciting experience for moviegoers.

Exploration of Casco Viejo takes you on a historical and cultural journey. Historical buildings, museums, markets and festivals in the region offer visitors an unforgettable experience. By visiting this impressive region, you can witness the rich history and cultural heritage of the Basque Country.

Guggenheim Museum: Iconic Center for Modern Art

One of the most important centers of modern art, the Guggenheim Museum welcomes art lovers from all over the world. As it is known, many works of art that expand, transform and redefine the boundaries of modern art are exhibited on the walls of this fascinating museum.


The Guggenheim Museum is an art institution with a long history. It was originally established in 1939 in New York by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The first building of the museum was designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and opened to the public in 1959.

  • Although Wright’s design was radical and controversial at the time, over time the museum has become an iconic symbol of modern architecture.
  • Wright planned the Guggenheim Museum as a circular structure. The exterior of the building is white, and the exhibition areas are reached by walking around an unusual spiral ramp.
  • This unique design both changes the perspective on works of art and offers a different experience to the visitors.


The Guggenheim Museum houses a rich art collection. The collection includes leading works of modern and contemporary art. The museum’s collection includes different art forms such as paintings, sculptures, photographs, video art and installations.

One of the most famous works of the museum is Pablo Picasso’s painting “The Truths of Women”. This work is considered an important milestone in modern art and is one of the most notable works of the museum.

ArtistArtworkVincent van GoghStarry NightJackson PollockLava CastAndy WarholMarilyn Monroe

Temporary Exhibitions

The Guggenheim Museum is notable not only for its permanent collection, but also for its temporary exhibitions. The museum, which hosts many different exhibitions every year, brings together the works of world-famous artists.

In the past, individual exhibitions of many famous artists such as Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Frida Kahlo were held at the Guggenheim Museum. These exhibitions offer a unique experience for art lovers and contribute to the development of the art world.

Education and Events

The Guggenheim Museum also plays an active role in arts education and cultural events. The museum organizes special tours for students, promoting understanding and appreciation of art among the younger generation.

In addition, events such as art conferences, workshops and film screenings are organized. These events offer art lovers the opportunity to learn more about modern art and interact with artists.


The Guggenheim Museum is one of the most important and impressive venues for modern art. It offers visitors an unforgettable experience with its iconic structure, rich collection and various events. While visiting the Guggenheim Museum, you will have the opportunity to discover works that push the boundaries of modern art and transform it.

For art lovers, the Guggenheim Museum is the beating heart of modern art and stands out as a must-visit place.

Zubizuri Bridge: One of Bilbao’s Architectural Wonders

Bilbao is a city in the Basque Country of Spain that has left an important mark on its modern architecture. Among the many architectural wonders in this city, one that stands out is the Zubizuri Bridge. Zubizuri means “white bridge” in Spanish and is known for its white marble cladding. Whether you are an architecture buff or a history lover, this bridge will surely appeal to you.

Unusual Design

The Zubizuri Bridge was designed by world-renowned British architect Santiago Calatrava. This modern bridge connects Bilbao’s Casco Viejo district with the Abandoibarra district in Uribitarte, located on the Nervión River. The bridge was designed for pedestrian traffic and has become the symbol of the area.

The bridge has a unique design that draws attention with its rounded lines, not its corners. Reflecting the characteristic style of Calatrava, this bridge has increased the interest in modern architecture. For those with a fear of heights, crossing this bridge can be a bit of a challenge because the base of the bridge is made of glass. This way, passers-by can see the river flowing beneath them.

Compatibility of Materials

Materials such as basalt stone, steel and glass were skillfully used in the construction of the Zubizuri Bridge. The basalt feet of the bridge provide a solid foundation for it, while the steel and glass base creates a feeling of transparency. The intertwining and harmony of these materials gives the bridge an eye-catching appearance.

One of the most impressive features in the design of the bridge is the lighting system. Zubizuri creates an enchanting atmosphere with its colorful lights at night. As you pass through it, you feel as if you are inside a work of art, thanks to the lighting at the feet of the bridge.

One of Bilbao’s Icons

The Zubizuri Bridge has become one of the symbols of Bilbao and is a structure waiting to be photographed by visitors. The bridge’s proximity to the Casco Viejo district is an opportunity to explore the riches of the historic district. Also, the Zubizuri Bridge is part of the Calatrava Bridges, a route that bridge lovers and architecture enthusiasts admire.

In order to make the most of your time in the city, you can stroll along the walking paths next to the bridge, have a picnic by the river or relax in the surrounding parks. Zubizuri Bridge offers visitors a wonderful combination of nature and modern architecture.


The Zubizuri Bridge is a masterpiece reflecting Bilbao’s modern architecture and Calatrava’s original designs. The bridge’s aesthetic and unique design fascinates visitors while offering numerous opportunities for photography lovers. If you happen to be in Bilbao, I strongly suggest you take the time not to miss this bridge.

Pros Cons – A modern architecture is great – May be challenging for those with a fear of heights – Great atmosphere with night lighting – May be considered a tourist attraction by some visitors – One of the symbols of Bilbao

The Modern Face of Bilbao: Euskalduna Convention Center and Iberdrola Tower

The Modern Face of Bilbao: Euskalduna Convention Center and Iberdrola Tower

The Spanish city of Bilbao in the Basque Country has attracted attention in recent years for its interest in modern architecture. Euskalduna Convention Center and Iberdrola Tower are among the important structures that support this interest and shape the modern face of Bilbao.

Euskalduna Convention Center

Euskalduna Convention Center is located close to the Port of Bilbao and was opened in 1999. The architects of the building include Enric Miralles and Federico Soriano. The convention center has been designed with a modern architectural approach and serves as a multi-purpose venue.

Euskalduna Congress Center hosts important events both nationally and internationally with its wide foyer areas, conference halls and show center. The main building of the place has an image with organic lines influenced by sea waves.

This convention center has become a symbol of Bilbao’s modern face and contributes to the city’s cultural and artistic life. Many conferences, exhibitions, theater performances and concerts are held here every year. In addition, Euskalduna Convention Center hosts important events such as the Architecture Biennale, San Sebastian Film Festival and Bilbao Mystika Film Festival.

Iberdrola Tower

Another modern structure, the Iberdrola Tower, is located in Bilbao’s Abandoibarra district and was completed in 2011. Serving as the headquarters of the Spanish energy company Iberdrola, this tower adds a unique look, especially to the night view of the city.

The Iberdrola Tower is the tallest building in the Basque Country at 165 meters and was designed by Frank Gehry. The exterior of the building is adorned with glass and titanium cladding and has a modern style that harmonizes with other structures in the city.

The Iberdrola Tower has played an important role in Bilbao’s modernization process and has become one of the symbols of the city. This tower hosts various events focusing on developments in the energy sector and has been a major source of inspiration for other companies in the city.

Euskalduna Convention Center Iberdrola Tower Opened in 1999 Completed in 2011 A modern structure with organic lines A modern structure decorated with glass and titanium coatings Serves as a multi-purpose venue Hosts events in the center of Iberdrola and the energy sector Hosting cultural and artistic events It adds a unique look to Bilbao’s night landscape.

Euskalduna Convention Center and Iberdrola Tower, which played an important role in the formation of the modern face of Bilbao, increased the architectural appeal of the city and contributed to the national and international recognition of the city. These structures continue to be important venues that support Bilbao’s touristic attraction and cultural and artistic life.

Historical Heritage in Bilbao: Gothic Churches and Castle, Casco Viejo: Discovering Bilbao’s Historic Center, Guggenheim Museum: Iconic Center of Modern Art, Zubizuri Bridge: One of Bilbao’s Architectural Wonders, The Modern Face of Bilbao: Euskalduna Convention Center and Iberdrola Tower

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