The Vizcaya Bridge is a transporter bridge that links the towns of Portugalete and Las Arenas in the Biscay province of Spain, crossing the mouth of the Nervion River. People in the area, the official website call it the Puente Colgante, although its structure is quite different from a suspension bridge; the Vizcaya Bridge was built to connect the two banks which are situated at the mouth of the Nervion River. It is the world's oldest transporter bridge and was built in 1893, designed by Alberto Palacio, one of Gustave Eiffel's disciples; the Engineer Ferdinand Joseph Arnodin was in charge, the main financier of the project was Santos Lopez de Letona. It was the solution given by the engineer to the problem of connecting the towns of Portugalete and Getxo without disrupting the maritime traffic of the Port of Bilbao and without having to build a massive structure with long ramps. Palacio wanted to design a bridge which could transport passengers and cargo, that could allow ships to go through.
Palacio's shuttle bridge could be built for a reasonable price. The service was only interrupted once, for four years, during the Spanish Civil War, when the upper section was dynamited. From his house in Portugalete, Palacio saw his masterpiece destroyed just before his own death. On July 13, 2006, the Vizcaya Bridge was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In Spain, it is the only monument in the Industrial Heritage category. UNESCO considers the bridge to be a perfect combination of functionality, it was the first to use a combination of iron technology and new steel cables which began a new form of constructing bridges, imitated throughout the world. The bridge, still in use, is 164 meters long, its gondola can transport six cars and several dozen passengers in one and a half minutes, it operates every 8 minutes during the day, all year round, with different fares for day and night services, is integrated into Bilbao's Creditrans ticket system. An estimated four million passengers and half a million vehicles use the bridge annually.
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 structure stand on the river banks; the towers are braced by iron cables to the crossbeam and are parallel to the river and by cables following the line of the bridge into the hill behind and the ground. The upper crossbeam which lies horizontally, rests between two towers by 70 suspension cables, they help support a great amount of weight and are supported in the corbels which helps balance the weight. The gondola transports vehicles and they hang from a 36-wheeled caty and is 25m. long. It moves along the rails through the horizontal crossbeam; the structure is 160 metres long. In the final design they decided to use two horizontal girders to support the rails, these are supported by four pillars which stand on four towers which are situated on the river banks, it is made of iron. Much iron was extracted from the mines of Vizcaya, which increased the shipping industry.
Therefore, the Vizcaya Bridge represents the growth and triumph of a new era. Http://www.puente-colgante.com Tourism in the Basque Country https://web.archive.org/web/20070211071228/http://www.guiabizkaia.com/gbilbao/portu/Index.html UNESCO World Heritage Official Site with the Vizcaya Bridge profile Portugalete Transporter Bridge at Structurae Puente Vizcaya
Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".
World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization as having cultural, scientific or other form of significance, is protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance, it may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones; the list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund; the program began with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program; as of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries. Italy, with 54 sites, has the most of any country, followed by China, France, Germany and Mexico. In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the new Aswan High Dam, whose resulting future reservoir would inundate a large stretch of the Nile valley containing cultural treasures of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and Sudan requested UNESCO to assist their countries to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites.
In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched an appeal to the member states for an International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of a number of important temples, the most famous of which are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae; the campaign, which ended in 1980, was considered a success. As tokens of its gratitude to countries which contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples: the Temple of Dendur was moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Temple of Debod was moved to the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, the Temple of Taffeh was moved to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in the Netherlands, the Temple of Ellesyia to Museo Egizio in Turin; the project cost $80 million, about $40 million of, collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns: saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia.
UNESCO initiated, with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity. The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation; the White House conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. A single text was agreed on by all parties, the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.
The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of May 2017, it has been ratified by 193 states parties, including 189 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the State of Palestine. Only four UN member states have not ratified the Convention: Liechtenstein, Nauru and Tuvalu. A country must first list its significant natural sites. A country may not nominate sites. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File; the Nomination File is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee; the Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one of them to be included on the list
Santa Coloma de Gramenet
Santa Coloma de Gramenet informally known as Santa Coloma is a municipality in Catalonia, Spain. It is a suburb of Barcelona, it is situated on the south-east side of the Litoral range, with the Puig Castellar as its highest point, on the left bank of the Besòs river: the municipalities of Sant Adrià de Besòs and Badalona separate it from the coast. It's the ninth most populated city in Catalonia; the area has been inhabited since at least the Iberic period, the remains of an Iberic village have been found on Puig Castellar. The artefacts are housed in a museum in La Torre Balldovina, a building dating from the 18th century. Other notable buildings include the renaissance palace of La Torre Pallaresa and the noucentista Clínica Mental. In November 2008, the city made worldwide news by installing solar panels on top of crypts in the local cemetery, in an effort to help fight climate change. Panareda Clopés, Josep Maria. Guia de Catalunya, Barcelona:Caixa de Catalunya. ISBN 84-87135-01-3. ISBN 84-87135-02-1.
Official web site of Santa Coloma de Gramenet Government data pages
Left Bank (Biscay)
The left bank of the Estuary of Bilbao is a part of the Greater Bilbao region, its main towns are Barakaldo, Sestao and Portugalete and in addition to the iron mines, was the heart of the intense industrialisation of Biscay. Thousands of workers from all Spain came to the area during the 19th and the 20th century to work in the major shipbuilding and steel industries like Altos Hornos de Vizcaya and La Naval. Hence it was one of the birth places of the worker movement in Spain; the Socialist leader Indalecio Prieto and the Communist Pasionaria found their initial audiences here. There was a geographical and political-economical counterposition between the left bank where the workers lived and the Right Bank where the industrialists and bourgeois had their villas
Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015; the Bilbao metropolitan area has 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain. Bilbao is the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region. Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain, some 16 kilometres south of the Bay of Biscay, where the economic social development is located, 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. Its climate is shaped by the Bay of Biscay low-pressure systems and mild air, moderating summer temperatures by Iberian standards, with low sunshine and high rainfall; the annual temperature range is low for its latitude. After its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, Bilbao was a commercial hub of the Basque Country that enjoyed significant importance in Green Spain.
This was due to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialisation, making it the centre of the second-most industrialised region of Spain, behind Barcelona. At the same time an extraordinary population explosion prompted the annexation of several adjacent municipalities. Nowadays, Bilbao is a vigorous service city, experiencing an ongoing social and aesthetic revitalisation process, started by the iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Azkuna Zentroa, the under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects. Bilbao is home to football club Athletic Club de Bilbao, a significant symbol for Basque nationalism due to its promotion of only Basque players and one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history. On 19 May 2010, the city of Bilbao was recognised with the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, awarded by the city state of Singapore, in collaboration with the Swedish Nobel Academy.
Considered the Nobel Prize for urbanism, it was handed out on 29 June 2010. On 7 January 2013, its mayor, Iñaki Azkuna, received the 2012 World Mayor Prize awarded every two years by the British foundation The City Mayors Foundation, in recognition of the urban transformation experienced by the Biscayan capital since the 1990s. On 8 November 2017, Bilbao was chosen the Best European City 2018 at The Urbanism Awards 2018, awarded by the international organisation The Academy of Urbanism; the official name of the town is Bilbao, as known in most languages of the world. Euskaltzaindia, the official regulatory institution of the Basque language, has agreed that between the two possible names existing in Basque and Bilbo, the historical name is Bilbo, while Bilbao is the official name. Although the term Bilbo does not appear in old documents, in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, there is a reference to swords made of Biscayan iron which he calls "bilboes", suggesting that it is a word used since at least the sixteenth century.
There is no consensus among historians about the origin of the name. Accepted accounts state that prior to the 12th century the independent rulers of the territory, named Senores de Zubialdea, were known as Senores de Bilbao la Vieja; the symbols of their patrimony are the church used in the shield of Bilbao to this day. One possible origin was suggested by the engineer Evaristo de Churruca, he said. For Bilbao this would be the result of the union of the Basque words for river and cove: Bil-Ibaia-Bao; the historian José Tussel Gómez argues that it is just a natural evolution of the Spanish words bello vado, beautiful river crossing. On the other hand, according to the writer Esteban Calle Iturrino, the name derives from the two settlements that existed on both banks of the estuary, rather than from the estuary itself; the first, where the present Casco Viejo is located, would be called billa, which means stacking in Basque, after the configuration of the buildings. The second, on the left bank, where now Bilbao La Vieja is located, would be called vaho, Spanish for mist or steam.
From the union of these two derives the name Bilbao, written as Bilvao and Biluao, as documented in its municipal charter. An -ao ending is present in nearby Sestao and Ugao, that could be explained from Basque aho, "mouth"; the demonym is "bilbaíno, -a", although the popular pronunciation bilbaino/a is frequent. In euskera it is bilbotar, sometimes used in Spanish within the Basque Country; the village is affectionately known by its inhabitants as «the botxo», that is, «the hole», since it is surrounded by mountains. The nickname "botxero" is derived from this nickname. Another nickname that Bilbao receives is that of "chimbos", which comes from birds that were hunted in large numbers in these places during the XIX century; the titles, the flag and the coat of arms are Bilbao's traditional symbols and belong to its historic patrimony, being used in formal acts, for the identification and decoration of specific places or for the validation of documents. TitlesBilbao holds the historic category of borough, with the titles of "Very noble and loyal and unbeaten" ("Mu
Estuary of Bilbao
The Estuary of Bilbao lies at the common mouth of the rivers Nervion and Cadagua, that drain most of Biscay and part of Alava in the Basque Country, Spain. In this instance, the Spanish word estuario is used to describe what in English would be called part estuary, part tidal river; the estuary becomes a tidal river which extends 16 km into the city of Bilbao, starting from the Bilbao Abra bay. It hosts the port of Bilbao throughout its length, although the Port Authority has restored most of the upper reaches to Bilbao and other municipalities for their urban regeneration; the port is now being transferred to the seaboard on the coast at Zierbena. Downstream from Bilbao the river divides its metropolitan area in its left bank (Barakaldo, Sestao and Santurtzi and its right bank; the estuary and tidal river of Bilbao have always been a significant part of the city. Bilbao was born 700 years ago on the banks of the river Nervión as a trading village, it expanded downstream until arriving at the sea.
The river reached high levels of contamination because of the industrial activities during the past century. See page:http://bilbaoenconstruccion.com/2010/07/06/bilbao-recupera-su-alma-plan-integral-de-saneamiento-de-la-ria/ Bilbao Ria 2000