Bilbao city town hall

Bilbao's history dates back to Roman times, although the city did not begin to prosper until the Middle Ages, when it became an important commercial and port centre in northern Spain. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Bilbao became one of the most prosperous cities in Spain thanks to its wool and iron trade.

In the 19th century, the city underwent a great change thanks to the Industrial Revolution. Factories were built and the steel industry developed, leading to rapid growth and transformation of the city. Bilbao became one of Spain's leading industrial cities, attracting workers from all over the country.

However, in the 1970s, Bilbao's economy began to decline due to the economic crisis and international competition. The city became a grey and depressed place, with high unemployment and a general feeling of abandonment.

In the 1980s, the city decided to transform itself through an ambitious urban renewal plan that included the construction of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry. The museum opened in 1997 and became a global success, attracting tourists from all over the world and turning Bilbao into a modern, cosmopolitan city. Today, Bilbao is a thriving and vibrant city, which has managed to maintain its rich culture and historical heritage while transforming itself into a modern and attractive city for visitors.

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