The signature architecture of Bilbao

The signature architecture of bilbao
The Guggenheim

The first thing that strikes a chord when Bilbao is mentioned is its oft-mentioned Guggenheim Museum. It is a ‘must-visit’ for lovers of modern and contemporary art. Even if witnessed from outside, standing by the Nervion river, it is a stunning building and recognised as one of the most significant structures built in the 20th century. Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry designed this titanium-clad twisting, curving and angular building, which was opened in 1997. Before this, experts say, titanium was never used in a building. It has a maritime theme, supposed to represent the ships, along the docks of the city, with titanium squares acting as fish scales and the skylights inside designed to look like fish fins. A bouquet of colourful poppies in front of the museum from the riverside and a ‘puppy’ covered with plants are some of the most famous symbols of modern Bilbao.

Presently an exhibition “The Art of Our Time”, which will continue till May this year, is showcasing the masterpieces in its collection with works by Joan Miro, Chagall, Andre Masson, Pablo Picasso, etc.

Bilbao is in the Basque country in northern Spain, capital of the autonomous province of Bizkaia. The borough of Bilbao was founded in the early 14th century by a few influential families of Bizkaia, a Basque name. Basque is one of the world’s oldest languages and in this area both Basque and Spanish are recognised as official languages. []