The city: Bilbao

Although we have no records enabling us to date Bilbao exactly, archaeological remains found where it stands suggest that there was a settlement there before the current one, whose people, who lived on both banks of the Nervión, worked as fishermen and mined and processed iron. The history of Bilbao as we know it began in the Middle Ages when it became a centre for trading.

This seafaring and trading town earned the title "Villa" when, on 15th June 1300 in Valladolid, Don Diego López de Haro V, a nobleman from Bizkaia, awarded the town the Carta Puebla Fundacional, which led to it becoming one of Biscay's main centres for development, supplanting Bermeo as the most important town in the region.

It is very difficult to say in just a few lines what the most typical or interesting of Bilbao's sights are: museums such as the Guggenheim, the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Museo Marítimo are all worth visiting.

Religious tourism is also important, with the impressive Basílica de Begoña being a pilgrimage destination for many, not to mention San Mamés, one of the best known "cathedrals" in the country, where every Sunday a large number of faithfuls flock in their droves to worship a different cult altogether: the beautiful game and its football club, Atlético Bilbao, another of the city's institutions.

Bilbao has one of the best shopping centres in the area in terms of both variety and quality, and some of best brands in the world are represented on its Gran Vía and in the surrounding area, which is popularly known as "La Milla de Oro”. To end this tour of 'El Botxo' (Bilbao’s nickname) on a high note, we should mention its Pintxos restaurants and bars. It should be said that its cuisine already enjoys an international reputation so why not sample some Pintxos in the Casco Viejo and enjoy a meal at one of the city's many restaurants.

Semana Grande de Bilbao

Summer is the time of year for the most anticipated and acclaimed festivals, with the ASTE NAGUSIA, or Semana Grande, which offers nine days of culture and madness for locals and visitors alike.Concerts, theatre, fireworks, children's games, herri kirolak,... all of the ingredients on the menu of these festivals to which Mari Jaia, the mascot of the festivals, invites you.

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