Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bilbao - Casco Viejo

My second favorite city in Spain (after Barcelona), Bilbao has a lot more to offer than the Guggenheim Museum, which, frankly, isn't one of the world's great art museums, anyway. We particularly enjoyed it because we'd had three weeks of incredibly hot weather until we got here, where it was overcast and cool and even rainy!

A very successful port city in the past, it's had its ups and downs, and many of its historic structures and neighborhoods are pretty much intact. The Casco Viejo, its old town center, is really charming.

An old street fountain

Plaza Nueva, the "new" square, was built in 1821

Teatro Arriaga

Victor Montes pinxho bar, pinxhos being kind of like tapas

Mercado Ribera

Art Nouveau fountain

Alhondiga Bilbao was a wine warehouse originally and under consideration to become the site of the Guggenheim originally, but instead the city of Bilbao decided to redesign the interior as a culture and leisure center, handing the work over to Phillipe Starck, who did a very interesting job of converting it. It contains a cinema, fitness center, library, auditorium, shops and restaurant. I particularly love the whimsical colonnade with no two pillars remotely alike

The swimming pool overhead!

Santiago Cathedral, a 14th-15th Gothic Revival church dedicated to Saint James the Great

 Stained glass, new and old

 An assortment of chandeliers

And other charming and interesting buildings about town

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