Set in the far north of Spain along the Ría del Nervión O de Bilbao, sits Bilbao. This industrial city in Basque country is in the midst of an urban revival. As the location of the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, hordes of art lovers from around the world flock to the area to admire the massive titanium structure, a grand work of art located on the waterfront amidst a newly developed area of Bilbao. The building was designed by American architect Frank Gehry and was completed in 1997.
While the building is a work of art in its own right, on its grounds are additional works by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Eduardo Chillida, Yves Klein, Jeff Koons, and Fujiko Nakaya, among others. Once inside, the atrium astounds its guests. Flooded with light from the the skylight above, visitors can view the curved staircases and walkways of the three floors, and the titanium and glass elevators. There are 20 galleries host to featured works and exhibitions.
While there I was able to see the Matter in Time by Richard Serra, the abstract expressionism exhibit featuring artists like Pollock, Rothko, and de Kooning, and the collection of Hermann and and Margrit Rupf.
Next to the museum is Nerua, a one Michelin star haute cuisine restaurant which offers a tasting menu specializing in traditional and new Basque cuisine. I had the 9 course tasting menu with the following dishes:
Bilbao and the Guggenheim were well worth the trip, for art and urban lovers alike. While in Bilbao, be sure to take a stroll along the waterfront or Abandoilbarra area. The area is revitalized as an ongoing project which began in the 1980s and ran into the 2000s. The stroll along the river is beautiful and a great way to experience the city.