|Euskadi / País Vasco||Basque Country|
|Bizkaia / Vizcaya||Bizcaye|
Portugalete Portugalete is situated at the mouth of Bilbao, on the left bank of the river Nervión, about 10 km northwest of Bilbao. The municipality has a population of about 46,400 (2016).
The origin of the name is unclear but may be derived from the Basque Portu-Ugaldeta. In 1300 Portugalete became the main competitor port for Bilbao, but it lost its predominant position in 1511 when the trade privileges were granted to the Port of Bilbao instead of Portugalete.
The Vizcaya Bridge (Bizkaiko Zubia, Puente de Vizcaya) [background] crosses the mouth of the Vervión river to connect Portugalete with Las Arenas (part of Getxo). Popularly, it is often called Puente Colgante ('hanging bridge'), although its structure is quite different from a suspension bridge. The bridge is the world's oldest transporter bridge and was built in 1893, designed by Alberto de Palacio y Elissague, one of Gustave Eiffel's disciples. The shuttle bridge was the solution given by the engineer to the problem of spanning the river 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 once, in 1937–1941, during the Spanish Civil War, when the upper section was dynamited. Since 2006, the Vizcaya Bridge is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bridge, still in use, is 164 meters long, and its gondola can transport six cars and several dozen passengers in one and a half minutes. There are two new visitor lifts installed in the 50 metre high pillars of the bridge that allow walking over the bridge's platform, from where there is a superb view of the port and the Abra bay.
The monument for Víctor Chávarri [foreground right]
was inaugurated in 1903 to commmemorate the industrialist (1854–1900) who had promoted the industrialisation of