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The Shuttle Bridge of Bizcay.

One century before the titanium was ending "beached" in the most important artery of Bilbao, in the river mouth of the estuary, another symbol of an epoch of brilliance and of economic development was borning. We speak about the Bridge of Biscay.

On July 28th, 1893, this jewel of the architecture is inaugurated after three years of works. Nowadays it is the most ancient Hanging Bridge all over the World.

Designed by the great architect Alberto Palacio, the bridge resembles in its forms the enigmatic Eiffel Tower, probably because the friendship that joined the constructive worries of both engineers.

The Hanging Bridge or Bridge of Biscay it is a representative of an economic and industrial model, an imperishable symbol of steel and iron that our more nearby past remembers us.

Fundamental link of communication between the two banks of the estuary during decades, today it continues with this job. Nowadays it constitutes itself as an impressive viewing-point, from its 50 meters of height from de water level, of the river mouth of the Nervión and from all those kilometers of water that introduce themselves inside the estuary by the Biscayan metropolis.

An extraordinary viewing-point that shows the past history and the present of Biscay.

   

Every December 21th, the Basque cities twin themselves with the countryside. For the adorned asphalt of their streets, the baserritarrak (farmers) show the products harvested in the land for pleasure and enjoyment of all those who, habitually, know a more artificial nature of the products, packed in the lines of the malls.

Thousands of persons take the streets and squares of the cities in order to accede to a few so unknown spaces, in occasions, for the urban society. A world, the rural one, which appears proudly in front of the visitors, showing the quality of the exposed products.

Cheeses, txakoli, cider, chorizos (a variety of red sausage made of pork), honey, vegetables, etc..., products coming from the best lands of Basque Country that are consumed and sold in this special market, in this meeting point of two worlds and two cultures that are so close in the space but so distant in its more typical characteristics.

A day for the fiesta and for the celebration in which the presence of the rural world in the city turns into a clear remind of what one day we were.

 

St. Thomas's traditional fiesta.

On the first Saturday after the celebration of the Virgin of Begoña (August 15th), starts the fiesta in Bilbao. Nine days of happiness, a space full of illusions, all of them fabricated with pause, during all the year.

 "Marijaia" is the owner and lady of Bilbao during its principal days, a symbol of the city imagined in papier-mâché that, every summer, comes to life to announce us that it's time to leave behind differences, discords, that it's  time to add up, that it's time to combine wishes and wills to turn Bilbao into the center of the fiesta.

It's an atypical fiesta, without any connections with the calendar of saints. Linked to a very old Biscayan passion, the fiesta of the bulls, this is one of the backbones of the fiesta.

Besides the importance that the bulls have inside the fiesta, the possibilities of enjoying are as diverse as numerous. A particular atmosphere for each person, this is the aim, that nobody feel uncomfortable or strange in the new "city of the titanium". Popular atmospheres, music in abundance.

A fiesta to visit and to enjoy the atmosphere that acquires this cosy city, hard-working and in permanent transformation.

 

Aste Nagusia: The Great Fiesta.
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