Remodeling of the Vizcaya bridge
Dating of the building: 1893.
Applicant: El Transbordador de Vizcaya S.L.
Reason for the award :
For the work carried out in the recovery and conservation of European Cultural Heritage.
The Europa Nostra award preceded the highest honour that a monument can obtain; its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Vizcaya Bridge was the first metal structure ferry-bridge built in the world. Due to the advances of the Industrial Revolution, it is inseparable from the industrial prosperity in the province of Vizcaya. Constructed between 1890 and 1893, it was designed by Alberto Palacio Elissague and built by Ferdinand Joseph Arnodin, the main sponsor of the work being the Bilbao textile businessman Don Santos López de Letona.
It is located at the mouth of the Ibaizabal River, at the point where the navigable estuary of Bilbao opened to the sea until the 19th century. Its construction made it possible to link Portugalete and Getxo without interrupting the navigation of one of the river ports with the most naval traffic in Europe.
The conservation works awarded by Europa Nostra are linked to the constitution of the Transbordador de Vizcaya Society in 1995. Since then, the company has been operating the ferry service without interruption, without undermining the cultural promotion of the work and the commission of the necessary renovation works. These include technical improvements, such as the replacement of the platform and the implementation of new docking, air conditioning, and access control systems, and those related to tourism promotion, such as the opening of the pedestrian walkway.