Monday, August 26, 2013

Bilbao and its Guggenheim

Our LITE-BRITE hotel 
Basque Health Department Headquarters
 Baldosa de Bilbao pavement tile 
The Biscay Statutory Library
Jeff Koons' Puppy is  43 feet high, contains 25 tons of soil, 70,000 flowering plants and an internal irrigation system. 
Bilbao! Admittedly, all I knew about this city is in the Basque Country of Spain was what I had read about the Guggenheim. Well, that museum is definitely the centerpiece, but the city is filled with architectural gems and it is surrounded by green mountains and a river runs through it.  Apparently the river used to stink very badly and was lined with closed-down factories, but then that shiny museum came. The Guggenheim Bilbao, completed in 1997, and designed by Frank Gehry is an icon of the city's transformation from a declining industrial port. This icon also happens to be "the greatest building of our time" (according to Philip Johnson) Gosh.  It was interesting to think that our hotel with candy-colored widows, that Calatrava suspension bridge and those great green lawns and wide walk-ways along the river are all very new to a city that was founded in 1300. 

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