Bilbao is one of the 25 boroughs in the Greater Bilbao region, in northern Spain. It is also the capital of Bizkaia province, in the Basque Country. It is the largest municipality of the Basque Country and the tenth largest in Spain, with a population of around 353.000 inhabitants.
Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain, some 14 kilometres south of the Bay of Biscay, where the estuary of Bilbao is formed. Its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges with an average elevation of 400 metres.
The main boroughs close to Bilbao are: Sondica, Zamudio, Basauri, Barakaldo y Galdácano.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Bilbao prospered, when it rose as the economic centre of the Basque Country. During this time, the first railway was built (in 1857), the Bank of Bilbao was founded (which later would become the BBVA), and the Bilbao Stock Exchange was created. Many industries flourished, such as Altos Hornos de Vizcaya in 1902.
In 1936 the Spanish Civil War started in Bilbao, and the city suffered the consequences.
With the war over, Bilbao returned to its industrial development, accompanied by a steady population growth. In the 1940s, the city was rebuilt, starting with the bridges. In 1948, the first commercial flight took off from the local airport.
Since the mid-1990s, Bilbao has been in a process of deindustrialization and transition to a service town, supported by investment in infrastructure and urban renewal, that started with the opening of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum and continued with the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall, Santiago Calatrava's Zubizuri, the metro network by Norman Foster, the tram, the Iberdrola Tower and the Zorrozaurre development plan, among others.
You can find more information: www.bilbaoturismo.net