Bilbao is the capital of the province of Biscay (Spanish Vizcaya) and largest city of the autonomous community of Basque Country in Spain. Next, it is the most important industrial and port city in the Basque Country and the surrounding area plus has almost 900,000 inhabitants. With 352,700 inhabitants in the urban area (according to the INE 1 January 2011) Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain.
The town lies on the estuary of Bilbao, in the Portugalete in the Bay of Biscay (Cantabrian Sea flows). In Basauri unite the rivers Nervión and Ibaizabal (Basque for Broad River) and from there flow together into the estuary. The tidal limit is approximately in the center of the San Antón Bridge. In the 1990s, Bilbao, which was previously off the beaten track, made a far-reaching redesign of its downtown. So until 1995, a 28 km-long metro line, which almost all stations by Sir Norman Foster designed. Another new development is the bridge Zubizuri the architect Santiago Calatrava, is that an inflated sail is modeled.
Center of tourist interest is the next oldest transporter bridge in the world, the Puente de Vizcaya over the river Nervión (including Puente Colgante “Hanging Bridge”) set up in 1997 after plans by the American architect Frank O. Gehry built in Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. The spectacular museum of titanium, glass and limestone is one of the most important examples of avant-garde architecture of the 20th Century world. This corresponds to the Museum of the otherwise often-faceless industrial form of Bilbao, such as the adjacent bridge by La Salve “wraps” with its walls. The collection focuses on modern and contemporary art, which is shown in changing exhibitions. Outside the museum a work of art by Jeff Koons is issued, the puppy, which is planted with flowers and should really just stand there in the opening year. After protests by the population of the puppy but was allowed to stand in front of the Guggenheim Museum and is planted with flowers each spring, which are continuously exchanged if they are faded.