Vizcaya Bridge straddles the mouth of the Ibaizabal estuary, west of Bilbao. It was designed by the Basque architect Alberto de Palacio and completed in 1893. The 45-m-high bridge with its span of 160 m, merges 19th-century ironworking traditions with the then new lightweight technology of twisted steel ropes. It was the first bridge in the world to carry people and traffic on a high suspended gondola and was used as a model for many similar bridges in Europe, Africa and the America only a few of which survive. With its innovative use of lightweight twisted steel cables, it is regarded as one of the outstanding architectural iron constructions of the Industrial Revolution.The Vizcaya Bridge (Bizkaiko Zubia in Basque, Puente de Vizcaya in Spanish), is a transporter bridge that links the towns of Portugalete and Las Arenas (part of Getxo) in the Biscay province of Spain, crossing the mouth of the Nervion River. People in the area, and even the official website, commonly call it the Puente Colgante (literally “hanging bridge”, used for suspension bridge in Spanish), although its structure is quite different from a suspension bridge.

History, Vizcaya Bridge:

2The Vizcaya Bridge was built to connect the two banks which are situated at the mouth of the Nervion River. It is the world’s oldest transporter bridge and was built in 1893, designed by Alberto Palacio, one of Gustave Eiffel’s disciples. The Engineer Ferdinand Joseph Arnodin was in charge, and the main financier of the project was Santos Lopez de Letona. It was the solution given by the engineer to the problem of connecting the two towns without disrupting the maritime traffic of the Port of Bilbao and without having to build a massive structure with long ramps. Palacio wanted to design a bridge which could transport passengers and cargo, and that could allow ships to go through. The design of the Palacio Shuttle bridge was adequate and could be built for a reasonable price.

The service was only interrupted once, for four years, during the Spanish Civil War, when the upper section was dynamited. From his house in Portugalete, Palacio saw his Vizcaya Bridge masterpiece partially destroyed just before his own death.

Visit August 2009, Vizcaya Bridge:


The Puente Colgante is located just north of Bilbao, not far from the motorway. Vizcaya Bridge, I visited it from the Portugalete side. It was quite difficult to find a parking spot close by. Eventually I decided to drive on for a while (farther up north), until traffic got less dense. There’s a boulevard along the river that you can follow back on foot. The bridge actually is right in the center of Portugalete. Like others have noticed: the bridge bears a strong resemblance to the Eiffel Tower. It keeps attracting your view. It is grand and lean. The gondola that hangs and moves underneath looks like a little boat that is pulled back and forth.


Since 1999, the pillars of the bridge on both sides have lifts installed. These will take you up 50 meters, from where you can walk over the bridge’s platform. At first instance, it looked like an interesting thing to do here. So I bought a ticket to the lift for 5 EUR. I got weak knees however when I looked up from below: the bridge looks so thin and scary! I entered the lift, but on the way up I told myself that I would go back down with the same lift immediately. I think it scared me because the construction is very ‘open’: you can see right through everything, so you also see all the depth and height. Arriving at the top, the feeling wasn’t so bad anymore. They have the upper platform totally encaged, and you cannot look down below your feet. I even started enjoying it! One can walk all the way to the other side of the bridge, to Getxo. When a gondola is passing underneath, you can see the cables rolling and feel the construction trembling. In all, I found it a worthwhile WHS to visit. If you’re really afraid of heights you can always take the gondola to the other side!

Renovation of the Vizcaya Bridge, Bilbao, Spain



Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2006, the Vizcaya Bridge is a symbol for the Industrial Revolution of the late nineteenth century. Vizcaya Bridge is the oldest transporter bridge of the world. ULMA has made the most important renovation of the past decades. The project began in late 2010 with the repainting of the steel structure after a decision on the color has been made by users and experts. The steel frame with rails from which the gondola is slung was also in need of repair after its damaging during the Civil War.

ULMA Solution

Vizcaya Bridge, the structure was completely clad with BRIO Modular Scaffolding. 800 tonnes of material distributed over 4 towers of 68 m and the horizontal steel frame of 162 m length. The scaffolding for the towers was supported on the ground, while the one for the horizontal structure hung from a truss. A builder’s hoist was installed to ease the movement of material and people. The erection was done in stages, beginning the first with towers 1 and 2 on the Las Arenas bank and with one third of the scaffolding for the horizontal structure hanging from a truss. Afterwards, the scaffolding for tower 3 and 4 of the Portugalete bank was erected, and for the horizontal structure following the same process of hanging the scaffold from a truss. This was concluded with the complete erection of the scaffold for the bridge steel frame. The Vizcaya Bridge scaffolding structure of the towers was also used for the fitting of the builder’s hoist support platform. This platform was made with scaffolding platforms resting on 5 m long bridging beams at a height of 7.5 m, Vizcaya Bridge.

Attractions near to Vizcaya Bridge

Guggenheim Museum

One of the most beautiful buildings in Spain. Boat-like, wavy structure built by F. Gehry. Definitely a must-see.


 Campo Volantin Bridge

 Tied-arch bridge of unusual design connects the banks of Bilbao. Together with the Guggenheim museum it is regarded as the emblem of the ‚new‘ Bilbao.

 Ribera Market

The largest indoor market in Europe covering 10,000 square metres is in use until today. Lively atmosphere, wide selection of local produce and seafood.

 Bilbao City Hall

 Dignified neo-Baroque building located at the waterfront will amaze you with its exquisite interiors in neo-Mudéjar style.

Doña Casilda Park


   Beautiful park in the heart of Bilbao, Bilbao (BIO)

 Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts

   This museum is noteworthy for its varied collections of art since 12th century to the present day. More than 6000 pieces of art.

  Basilica of Begoña

    Basilica in Bilbao dedicated to the local patron Andra Mari de Begoña. There’s a carillon with 24 bells in the tower and an impressive interior.

  Bilbao Cathedral


  Dedicated to St. James, this 15th century cathedral actually shows a myriad of architectonic styles.

   Azkorri Beach

   Rural sandy beach awarded with the Blue Flag known for its rock scenery. Rather secluded yet easily accessible by car of public transport.

Gateshead Millennium Bridge tilting


GETTING THERE – Vizcaya Bridge


GETTING THERE – Gateshead Millennium Bridge

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How to get to Vizcaya Bridge, Spain by Air

Madrid as well as Barcelona has a busy international airports, served by airlines from all over the world. Contact a travel agent for seasonal discounts and fares.

How to get to Vizcaya Bridge, Spain by Rail

If you’re traveling from within the Union, you can get tickets for the Eurail to enter the country by land. Other international trains normally connect to Spain via France.

How to get to Vizcaya Bridge, Spain by Road

You can drive into Spain from bordering France or Portugal. Driving is on the right hand side of the road and you will require an International driving license and a proof of insurance Green card. The general condition of roads is good. The toll roads are marked A and they are known as autopistas. The national and main roads are marked N and the country roads are marked C. Gasoline is expensive as also toll charges which are on the higher side.

How to get to Vizcaya Bridge, Spain by Sea

There are ferry shuttle services to Gibraltar connecting Tangiers and Morocco.



There are many good hotel and resorts in Vizcaya Bridge Spain, we have given a below quick link to Book Hotels.


Have A Nice Time In Vizcaya Bridge!!!…


BOOK YOUR HOTEL AS PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY, Gateshead Millennium Bridge:

There are many good hotel and resorts in UK, we have given a below quick link to Book Hotels.

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BOOK YOUR HOTEL AS PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY, Gateshead Millennium Bridge:

There are many good hotel and resorts in UK, we have given a below quick link to Book Hotels.

– See more at: