Bizkaia Hanging Bridge was declared World Heritage Sited by the World Committee of UNESCO in 2006. The bridge connects Portugalete and Getxo since 28th July 1893. It is also an icon and symbol of the relationship between steel and industrialization and the Basque Country.
The Bizkaia Hanging Bridge is a unique testimony to history. It suffered bombings during the Spanish civil war and was eventually destroyed in 1937 to avoid the advance of Franco’s troops. The period until its reinauguration in 1941 is the only time in which the Bridge has not been in use. Despite those setbacks, the Bridge conserves its two original towers, one on each bank of the river. Constructed in reinforced steel, they support the crosspiece over which a platform glides. From this platform hangs a system of crossed cables that carry the gondola that transports passengers and vehicles from one town to the other. The current crosspiece had to be reconstructed after the civil war, and although it differs slightly from the original, it respects the spirit of the original design. The gondola that transports passengers and vehicles is what has most changed over the years, in order to provide greater comfort to its passengers.
The Bizkaia Bridge was designed by Martín Alberto de Palacio y Elissague, an exceptional professional and true scholar of his time. Disciple of the creator of the Eiffel Tower, his numerous projects always had innovation as a common theme. He is the designer of, among others, the Crystal Palace in the Retiro Park in Madrid, which he built in collaboration with Ricardo Velázquez Bosco.