Can you imagine a place so transformed?
Bilbao was founded in the year 1300 at the mouth of the river as a trading port. During the 19th and 20th centuries it became a focus of mining activity, iron and steel production and shipbuilding, and grew steadily into a large industrial port city.
These activities were carried out on either side of the river, and conditioned urban development in Bilbao. The industrial crisis of the 1980s had an enormous effect on Bilbao. Closure and modernization of a considerable section of industry had a huge impact on the entire waterfront, and also provided an opportunity for urban development within the city.
Now, those industrial spaces are recovered for the people and The spaces once used by the shipyards, the container areas and blast furnaces are now riverside promenades, open-air art galleries, new districts and business zones, where quality architecture is one of the keynotes of this renovation project (Gehry, Calatrava and other famous architects have built their dreamed buildings round here) What used to be ugly (except for those who love also the industrial views) now it’s turned into design, modernity and beautiful promenades. Even fishes live again in the river, once covered in dust.