Orlando, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2018) – The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. According to the cruise specialists at Cruises-N-More, today, most major cruise lines offer cruises to Bilbao. Because many cruise ships cannot navigate the Nervion River into the city center, they dock at the modern cruise terminal about nine miles north of Bilbao and shore excursions depart from there.
Chartered in 1300 along the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao grew slowly but steadily with a strong economic base built on shipbuilding, steel and chemical industries. At the beginning of the 20th century, Bilbao was said to be the wealthiest city in Spain.
Then the steel and shipbuilding industry floundered and industrial decline set in, Bilbao was hit with a deep economic crisis. The once-bustling waterfront became derelict in what could have been known as a death blow, but Bilbao turned the tide with the Guggenheim, which became in important cultural facility.
Opened in October 1997, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was designed by Frank Geary and cost an amazing 130 million Euros paid for by the Basque government. Geary liked that it was next to the river, and sometimes it is said the river is the reason Bilbao exists.
The result is an eye-popping shimmer of titanium, glass and limestone that looks like a magnificent winged ship sailing down the old port. The museum exterior is dazzling as is the artwork surrounding it. The entrance is guarded by an iconic Puppy floral sculpture, created by Jeff Koons. The 43-foot-tall living plant creation was modeled after a West Highland terrier and changes according to the time of year and the blooming plants, including colorful marigolds, begonias, impatiens, petunias, and lobelias.
Guggenheim is home to art by world masters. Inside the Guggenheim are soaring outer galleries plus a suite of 10 galleries in the building’s core that house a permanent collection of works by world masters like Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, Paul Klee and Roy Lichtenstein. The structure was created to make maximum use of natural light.
Bilbao and the Guggenheim are a great destination to visit.