"Cross The Arenal Bridge" Bilbao Things to Do Tip by DanielF
Bilbao Things to Do: 363 reviews and 898 photos
The expansion of Bilbao in the 19th century was limited by the hills located behind the Casco Viejo. The only available land to develop the urban area was in the opposite side of the river, in the lands of the rival town of Abando. Before the construction of this bridge, the river between Bilbao and Abando could only be crossed on boat, so by the mid 19th century it was considered an imperious necessity to build a third bridge in the city, connecting the Arenal with Ripa. The construction of this bridge allowed for the expansion of Bilbao in what is now known as El Ensanche.
The Bridge was opened by Queen Isabel II in 1865 (it was officially called after her) and it was originally a bascule bridge, to allow for the navigation on the river. However, the leaves ceased to operate soon. The bridge was blown out during the Spanish Civil War and was rebuilt in 1940.
The bridge offers excellent views of the city centre and the Nervión estuary.
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