It was Don Diego López de Haro V, lord of Vizcaya, who gave the city her title in the year 1300, due to its great importance as a commercial and maritime centre at the time; however, the precise origins of Bilbao have not been determined.
After years of financial uncertainty, Bilbao has once again become a dynamic city, full of amenities and focused on environmental and urban regeneration. With its lands freed from the old industrial settlements, the city is now undergoing a new physical transformation, becoming more and more appealing to visitors. The impressive Guggenheim Museum and the Euskalduna Palace, a conference and music centre, have become the icons of the new Bilbao, a city that is gradually regaining space and handing it back to the people.
At the beginning of the 20 th century, Bilbao was the great economic icon of the Basque Country and amongst the most important cities in Spain.
However, after Bilbao’s economic boom, the iron and steel industry fell into a deep crisis at the end of the 20 th century that forced the city to think the foundations of its economic development over.