History of Bilbao, Basque Country, Northern Spain, Euskadi, Vizcaya

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The history of Bilbao in northern Spain as a city began being written in the year 1300 when Diego Lopez de Haro founded the city. In 1301 King Ferdinand the 4th declared it as well. In this sense, the port of Bilbao began, it is still to this day one of the first in Spain. Nonetheless, the first settlements of this area began more than 2000 years ago, more specifically in the mountain top of Monte Malmasin.

Somera, Artekale and Barrenkale are the names of the first three streets in Bilbao, later other cames along, and the city and port began to branch out like that of the one in Bermeo. Between the years of 1300-1600 the founding of this city and the developing process, Bilbao became the capital of the Vizcaina Province. It took the title away from Bermeo, since now Bilbao was finally a big sized city. In the 17th century all of Europe went through an economic crisis, from which Bilbao saved itself from due to the mining industry. Afterwards the first banks were created and the Bilbao stock market. An Industrial Revolution in the 18th century made the city grow as well as during the 19th century.

The history of Bilbao in the 20th century is the most recent has has two different parts, the first is the industrial and economic prosperity and the second was the crisis of the industries, which made the change into becoming a cultural and leisurely style city. In the beginings of the 20th century the shipyards were born, Bank of Vizcaya, BBK, and much more.

In 1936 whent the Spanish Civil War began, the city and the province put themselves on the democratic side against the dictatorship republican side.

After all of this came another development growth with Iberdrola, the Sondika airport, the bettering of communications which brought in a lot of wealth that in the 80s broke a little due to the industrial crisis. This provoked a change in the city, that turned its industrial means of income into a tourism and cultural city. The Guggenheim Museum from 1997 is a great clue to this change.


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