Countries<Spain<Pais Vasco [Basque Country]<Bilbao< Puente de Vizcaya

Puente de Vizcaya(Bilbao)

View on Ocity Platform

logoTwitter logoFacebook


The Vizcaya Bridge is an exceptional example of the iron architecture characteristic of the Industrial Revolution, combining iron technology with an innovative use of steel cables. It was the world's first transporter suspension bridge and served as a model for many similar bridges in Europe, Africa and America, and is the best preserved of those still standing and the only one that retains its original use.

It is a toll ferry bridge, located at the mouth of the estuary of the Ibaizabal River that links the towns of Getxo and Portugalete. It represents the culmination of a long cultural tradition linked to the production and use of Biscayan iron, a metal that has been intensely exploited since Roman times. In the mid-19th century, the new production and trade techniques of the Industrial Revolution meant that the export and transformation of iron ore became the main driving force behind the development of the Basque economy and it was in this context that the architect Alberto de Palacio designed a ferry bridge in 1887 to solve the transport problems affecting the mouth of the river Ibaizabal. With the influence of Gustave Eiffel's construction philosophy and the decisive contribution of Ferdinand Arnodin, known for the creation of the "cordon cables", the bridge was inaugurated on 28 July 1893.

In 2006, it was added to the World Heritage List for being an astonishing work that perfectly combines beauty, aesthetics and functionality, and for its innovative nature from a technological point of view and its pioneering status in this type of construction. It is currently the best preserved with these characteristics and its fixed structure, through which a suspended nacelle or gondola moves, allows half a dozen cars and two hundred people to be transported without interfering with navigation.

Image of Puente de Vizcaya