Vizcaya Bridge (2006)

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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-metre-high bridge with its span of 160 m, merges 19th-century iron–working 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 Americas but 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. 

Spain 1997. Centenary of the Bilbao School of Engineering. Vizcaya Bridge.

Spain 2007. Vizcaya Bridge.

It is the world's oldest transporter bridge and was built in 1893, designed by Alberto Palacio, one of Gustave Eiffel's disciples. It was the solution given by the engineer to the problem of communicating the two towns without disrupting the maritime traffic of the Port of Bilbao and without having to build a massive structure with long ramps. The service was only interrupted four years during the Spanish Civil War, when the upper section was dynamited; from his house in Portugalete Alberto Palacio could see how his master work was partially destroyed just before his own death.

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Other World Heritage Sites in Spain (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Spain-section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 19 jul 2007  
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