Wednesday, December 02, 2009



The Puente Colgante» (Hanging Bridge) was inscribed in 2006 in the UNESCO's World Heritage List. According to the UNESCO's site, «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-m-high bridge with its span of 160 m, merges 19th-century ironworking 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 America 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».

"LAS ARENAS - To get to the bridge from Bilbao, the best way is taking the Underground to the Las Arenas station"

"PORTUGALETE - The Bridge was the solution to the problem of connecting the Las Arenas to Portugalete without disrupting the maritime traffic of the Port of Bilbao and without having to build a massive structure with long ramps"

"PUENTE COLGANTE - It is the world's oldest transporter bridge, designed by Alberto Palacio, one of Gustave Eiffel's disciples"




"PORTUGALETE - From the upper platform"



"LAS ARENAS - From the upper platform of the bridge"

"NEPTUNE DEFEATED - Monument to Evaristo de Churruca, the builder of the Port of Bilbao"

Bharat of the wonderful blog Unseen Rajasthan, was so kind to pass me this lovely award. Thanks Bharat!


Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! This post deals with a weird bridge. Probably most of you have never heard about the «Puente Colgante» (Hanging Bridge) with the exception of my Spanish visitors, and not all of them… Anyhow, Bilbao’s early 20th century development owes a lot to the creative genius of Alberto de Palacio, who found this way to cross the river letting big ships going in and out easily!! Great job!! Enjoy and have a lovely week!!

RNSANE said...

What a wonderful travelogue you presented with your narrative and photography! I've been to various parts of Spain, was just in Malaga and Barcelona in October for my 65th birthday, many times - now I would like to go to Bilbao. It is a spectacular looking city! The bridge is interesting. You are deserving of an award, that's for sure.

Ron said...

Very interesting post. That bridge is awesome.

Olivier said...

la plateforme pour passer le pont, c'est une superbe idée, j'adore.

lyliane six said...

J'aime mieux ce côté là de cette ville.Votre photo sur la passerelle me fait penser à nos photos prises de l'ascenseur à Lisbonne, la vue y ressemble beaucoup. Grâce à ton blog, je pars le 17 en Inde, mais j'ai toujours un petit soucis avec maman elle est encore hospitalisée elle manque de globules rouges, heureusement ma sœur vient prendre le relai, j'espère qu'elle rentrera mardi.J'avais demandé un devis à Unseen mais c'était plus cher que notre voyage avec extension vers le Gange.
Bonnes fêtes de fin d'année pour vous et à l'année prochaine, je reviens le 4 janvier.Grosses bises et sincères amitiés de nous 2.

Unknown said...

Great Industrial Revolution piece!! truly amazing bridge - must be awesome to see it and be on it !

leo said...

Incredible. In fact the whole city is such a splendour thru your lenses. Be it man made or nature. Hv a good weekend.

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Un pont roulant comme on en voit d'habitude dans les usines. Beau site d'observation pour les touristes.

Oman said...

i am sure the suspended flatform is quite a subject in itself. but my favorite in this set is the group of houses with yellow trees in front. awesome.

Mariposa said...

Wow how interesting! The architecture somewhat reminds me of Luiz 1 bridge at Oporto. Please correct me if i'm wrong :)

Venksh said...

Hello Gil,
Wow the picx r amazing n the PUENTE COLGANTE bridge seems really superb.. But how much time it takes to cross from one end to the other...


BLOGitse said...

Never heard, never seen before Hanging Bridge. Wow, it's cool!
and your pics are great...
Thanks for sharing!
ps. no Spanish this time :-)

Chuckeroon said...

Hi, Trotter. Panic not, Old Chap! Mucho busy with Christmas preparation at Ham House. This set very much to my Northern taste. Nevr seen Bilboa, so double bonus. Tks for the regular follow up!

bindu said...

That bridge is a marvel. What an engineering feat it is!

VioletSky said...

This bridge is a marvel.
Amazing that it has not be shut down due to only carrying a small number of vehicles at a time.

Anonymous said...

Working in the transport field I could not pass this post without leaving a comment! The hanging bridge is a great solution and also one more point of interest for tourism in this renewed city. And it takes only a few minutes to cross from one side to the other, both for cars and pedestrians.
AH! Aussi un petit salut a Lilyane: Bon voyage et bon retour. On attend les belles photos! Joyeux Noel pour vous deux! Guida

yyam said...

That transporter bridge is cool...I've never seen one before!

Have a great weekend! :)

Jason said...

Going to add you right now. Take care!


b.c. said...

great photos, looks like a very interesting place (and bridge) happy weekend!

diane b said...

What an amazing bridge! I didn't see that when we were there. It must have been a big climb to the top platform. The city looks lovely from there. Great shots as usual

Pietro Brosio said...

Gil, with this post you well describe the trip to the Puente Colgante: very fine views of the bridge and from the bridge with so interesting landscapes! Beautiful the monument to Evaristo de Churruca.
Have a great weekend!

Lara said...

a place with a history! again a wonderful story that you tell. congrats for the award!

april said...

What a strange bridge; it looks very industriel and yes, Eiffel comes into my mind. And even more strange hwo to cross the river. I've never seen a thing like that.

P.N. Subramanian said...

I too have not seen anything of this kind. It looks like a crane carrying a Gondola. I am fully engaged because my wife broke her left leg. The thigh bone was broken when she slipped and fell down while watering a Tulsi plant. She has been operated upon and a plate has been screwed in. Will take time to recover.

Anonymous said...

Before you mentioned it, I was thinking Eiffel Tower....bridge. :) Now I wonder where we go for Christmas. Have you been to Bethlehem?

Gattina said...

Looks like a very nice city to be visited, but this bridge is simply extraordinary ! I have never seen such a thing !

RuneE said...

You keep returning to Bilbao - and there is no doubt why. I have to forget my dream of another visit to Barcelona and go for Bilbao instead.

My Unfinished Life said...

unique and innovative.....

Emery Roth said...

I've heard of, much less seen, anything like this. It's a ferry bridge. The towers are especially graceful designs. A fascinating entry in your blog!

irinapictures said...

Thank you for pointing to this so very interesting post. The bridge is amazing. Your photos and comments show the full picture, as if I was there :-).

indicaspecies said...

Wow, what beautiful photos! And it is a lovely couple posing on the bridge.;)
Have a good weekend Gil while I take a flight back to New York this week.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. Very interesting history about the bridge.


[G@ttoGiallo] said...

Got an idea... next time you leave, take the yellow luggage, I'll be inside.

Cloudia said...

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Galaxy6139 said...

These constructions are awesome!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I enjoyed reading about the hanging bridge, Gil. It is so unsuual and it offers some beautiful views!

Shionge said...

Very unique structure and the view is spectacular Gil :) Is it still in operation?

Anonymous said...

very panoramic views.... love the ocean

99 said...

Very interesting bridge! Bilbao is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Thanks for sharing your pics, they´re astonishing!

Dick said...

Wow, I've never seen or heard of a bridge like that. Very interesting pictures.

Urmi said...

Excellent, marvellous and spectacular pictures. The bridge looks very interesting and all the pictures are mind-blowing.

S-V-H said...

Very impressive bridge and the view is marvelous! I liked also that old church and the yellow trees in front. The church is embedded between all those newer houses, that's where old and new meet! Very nice photograph!

Have a wonderful pre Christmas time, Gil! Thanks for sharing your great post. And thanks for your kind comment on my blog.


A Lady's Life said...

What a wonderful bridge. We sure could use a bridge like that around here. But it doesn;t take very many cars. The view is wonderful!!!

Marja said...

Wow very interesting structure. I love that bridge It looks a bit science fiction Nice view on the city as well. Thanks for sharing

hpy said...

On est bien au bord de l'eau.

Cergie said...

Très intéressant en effet ce pont transbordeur en guise de bac... ou de pont. Il me faut montrer cela à mon mari.
Cependant je ne peux m'empêcher de penser, tellement il est imposant, à l'expression : "un marteau pilon pour écraser une mouche".

Rajesh said...

Beautiful snaps. Your posts a;ways take us to the different world from mine.

PeterParis said...

Thanks for this interesting information!

Only saw this remarkable contruction from far, arriving on a ferry from Southampton, on my way to southern Spain (many years ago... but later than 1893).

A capacity of six cars is probably a bit limited today. It's perhaps also a little bit of pity that the platform is not in the original design, but at least it allows a few cars.

How do you get to the top platform? A lift?

(Soory being late here!) :-)

Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! Thanks for your visits and comments! Truly appreciated!
I’m starting to have a problem with the free space available at Blogger. Actually, I’m reaching their free allowance and I’m neither keen on paying to have a blog, nor on deleting the older posts or blogs to get some more space. As I don’t think they will change their policy, I’ve to find a way to keep Blogtrotter running... Any suggestion would be appreciated, if any of you ever comes back to read the replies and see this prose... ;))

Thanks for your visit and first time comment on Blogtrotter. I’m truly happy that you enjoyed the pictures and the text. As you may see from labels and links to Revival blogs, there is much more to see than Spain in my blogs, though Bilbao has a nice share of the more recent trips to this country! Now, with so many cruises in your curriculum is time to stop by in Lisbon! Look forward to seeing you here... ;))

Amazing indeed! And actually built in 1893... An extraordinary engineering achievement!!

La plateforme c’est le pont... ;) Ce qui est vraiment drôle est l’aspect «balançoire» du pont Vizcaya; je me demande comment ça doit bouger s’il y a du vent fort, ce qui n’est pas rare dans le Golfe de Biscaye...

C’est vrai que la vue de Portugalete (je ne sais pas pourquoi il y a un tel nom…) du haut de la plateforme du pont ressemble beaucoup la vue sur la colline du château de São Jorge, si tu la vois du coté de l’ascenseur de Santa Justa…
J’espère que tout ira marcher bien en Inde; il y a des palais et des sites vraiment incroyables, même si la confusion peut être un peu de trop aux yeux occidentaux… ;) Et avec ta maman ça ira; tu as de la chance de ne pas être fille unique… ;))
Alors, bon voyage, Joyeux Noel et un merveilleux 2010 pour vous deux!! On attendra ton retour et les magnifiques photos que tu iras sans doute prendre de «L’Inde Incroyable»!!!

It’s a truly amazing experience, in particular crossing the river on the hanging platform... Don’t remember ever making something similar!!
Answered your email! Hope you have a nice trip and look forward to seeing you in Lisbon!!

My lens isn’t making much of a difference... But it’s truly mostly man made the beauty of current Bilbao... Not so much some decades back; by then the only beauty around were the hills surrounding the dark, grey industrial town and suburbs... ;)

C’est vrai que ce genre de ponts se voit plutôt dans les usines qu’au-dessus des fleuves… Pour les vrais touristes (même si appelés «idiots du voyage»), il semble que tout point d’observation est bon… ;)

There are even some yellow buildings to match with the autumn colours of the trees in Portugalete... ;). But the platform is an awesome 19th century engineering achievement...

So you have been to Oporto and didn’t say a word... ;)). It’s true that the D. Luiz I bridge in Oporto has a similar iron structure, the difference being that the lower platform is fixed and thus only small boats can pass below... ;)). But they usually carry Port wine; better deal... ;))

If you mean in the hanging platform, maybe two or three minutes... Walking on the top platform takes a bit more, because it’s used only for tourist purposes and it is much more expensive... ;))

Amazing that Hanging Bridge; UNESCO’s World Patrimony!!
Sorry for the joke on the Spanish language, but I hadn’t notice that there was that discrepancy between the «Siete Calles» and the «nine» verandas... ;))
I was thinking of going to Egypt by the end of the year, in case I manage to get some time free, but it seems that the tour I was going to book is already full... Anyhow, I can never decide with more than two or three days in advance and by that time there won’t be any chance... ;))

That Ham House is driving you crazy... ;)). Or is it the young ladies we see in some pictures taking care of the House... ;)).
Northern taste is perfect for Bilbao, and the food there is also an extra treat...

Trotter said...

Replies, Part Two:

And just think it was planned and erected in 1893, almost one hundred and twenty years ago... ;)

Thanks for your visit and first time comment at Blogtrotter. It’s actually a bit surprising that it’s still there. But there are good reasons for that: first, it has included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, thus turning it an important tourist site; second, it’s still very convenient for the cars and people crossing the River at that location: not many cars and lots of people... ;))

Wow! Long time no see you here, except in some photos... ;))

It seems there aren’t so many bridges like that in the World, so no wonder that you haven’t seen any; actually, Bilbao is my first one also... ;)

Glad to see your enthusiasm... Hope to see you often commenting at Blogtrotter also... ;))

It’s always great to see you back here, commenting in direct from the beautiful Windy City... Bilbao is a very nice town, the Guggen is superb and the Hanging Bridge a surprise...

You have to take the subway to the suburbs of Bilbao to see it; if you stay only in the town centre there is no chance to catch it... ;). There is a lift to get up to the top platform (it’s a tourist visit and you pay accordingly to get a few information and then the guide leaves you up there for the photo exercise and you just ring when you want to come down (on the same side or on the other side of the River Nervion). The view to Portugalete is nicer than towards Las Arenas, at least that’s how I feel...

I would say that the «Defeated Neptune» is a quite weird monument; but it’s understandable that it is named that way to honour the builder of the port protecting ships and sailors from the mighty Atlantic Ocean...

The story was already there; I just had to pick it and post at Blogtrotter for you to enjoy... ;))

It’s not a common bridge and Eiffel had to be somehow connected to this metal achievement... But it’s in particular a wise solution for a big problem; cross the river and let ships in...

A crane carrying a gondola is an adequate description of what actually happens at the Puente Colgante!!
Sorry to learn about your wife; hope she will recover fast and well; some accidents occur when you’re not at all expecting and could hardly foresee such happening...

Eiffel comes to mind whenever we see something like the structure of the Hanging Bridge!
Never been to Bethlehem; and don’t think I’ll manage to go there now; actually things are quite difficult for me to travel these days: hard to get some free time and even harder to be away for long (only child to 92+88 years old parents... ;))

It’s not an often seen device; it’s probably unique as it was turned a World Heritage Site!!

Barcelona is a wonderful town; and the Gaudi works can more than compete with the modern works of Gehry, Calatrava and Foster... But Bilbao also has its wonders and probably deserves your attention. So, why not Norway-Lisbon-Barcelona-Bilbao-Norway? It seems an interesting tour... ;))


Ferry bridge? There is a place named Ferrybridge in England, but I don’t think it has any connection with the Hanging Bridge... ;))

Glad to see you commenting at Blogtrotter following the steps of the other Irina gone to the South Pacific... ;). It’s an extraordinary industrial achievement this bridge...

What a tour are you making? Incredible, travelling the whole year... I’m so green of envy!!! ;)) Thanks for the compliment; the couple is delighted... ;). Have a nice trip back!!

The Puente Colgante is surely a good subject for some wonderful posts and articles; this is just a small contribution to make it known in the small circle of Blogtrotter’s visitors!!

My pleasure; but you’re already part of the party travelling through Blogtrotter!! ;))

Trotter said...

Part Three:

Aloha! Did you see my pictures of Hawaii 1996? There are some posts on Blogtrotter Revival 90’s. Probably some of the (lousy) pictures were taken quite close to where you live... ;))

It was built to last and also to solve a problem. On the top of that it also is a work of art; literally... ;)

Unusual, it certainly is; as for the beauty of the views, I agree that Portugalete has some charm, though the port itself is far from being attractive and Las Arenas looks nothing more than a dormitory for the Bilbao commuters… ;)

It operates for traffic purposes seven days a week, but I don’t know if it stops during the night… For tourists the schedule must be a bit more limited, but you’ll have a chance to use it anyhow… ;))

A true Ocean, the Atlantic… ;)

I think you’re exaggerating just a little bit… I wouldn’t say one of the most beautiful cities in the world; it has it charm, a fabulous building by Frank Gehry and many interesting places to see and things to do; but one of the most beautiful… it seems too much for me… ;))

Unusual, uncommon, unknown, but not uninteresting… ;))

Every time I read your comments, my self-esteem grows a tonne!! Thanks!! ;)
It’s truly a quite interesting feature and it serves its purpose adequately! A fit to purpose device!! ;)

Portugalete offered the best view from the platform, and the old church there came out rather well with the trees in fall colours in front of it… Furthermore, the yellow and blue building by the river also concurred to an interesting framing and the outcome was truly nice; so, I’m not alone in praising that picture!!

Always a pleasure to read you at Blogtrotter. It takes few cars, but taking into attention that it was planned in 1893, it’s a great achievement; and, anyhow, it still fits its purpose nowadays… ;)

It surely was science fiction in 1893 when it was first built there… ;))

On est toujours bien au bord de l’eau, mais à la plage c’est mieux qu’au port ; du moins à mon avis… ;))

Nous avons l’équivalent de cette expression avec (traduction littérale) : chasser des mouches avec des carabines… Mais, imagine-toi en 1893 avec le problème du passage et du port à résoudre… ;))

It’s not such a small world and it has many versions to see… ;))

There is a lift to the top that actually is only visited with a tourist ticket, including the lift, a guide for a few minutes to explain the device and the time you wish to take the pictures you want… ;))

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Hey GMG, what a wonderful bridge this indeed is! I like the very different concept of the bridge, and the great mind of the designer Alberto de Palacio. So nice of you to share your nice pictures.

Dholya Ganpati Temple

Trotter said...

Unique concept indeed and a great vision to create such a bridge!!

Ashira said...

I love the waterfront pictures, and the Portugalete is an impressive structure. This is another place I have to add to my ever-growing list of places to visit someday!

Trotter said...

Great to have you back! Lovely that you enjoyed Portugalete!!