Much of the history of Barakaldo, already from the distant Middle Ages, lays down on these lands bordering the left bank of the river Nervión that, because of its strategic location, played a vital role in the development of the city. Not only the maritime and rural heritage of Barakaldo, with excellences glossed by the German philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt in a visit to these lands in 1801, come from here, but also its tradition as a regulating centre in the passing of goods and its indisputable role as the backbone of the industrialization processes in Biscay.
We refer to all that strip of land that runs between the mouths of the rivers Cadagua and Galindo, an area that has dramatically changed in recent years and which still new future projects are being hatched.
From loading bay to viewpoint
Our tour begins in an emblematic place of this crossroads opened to the sea. We are referring to the loading bay of the mining company Franco-Belga (N. 1) (placed very close to the pillars supporting the bridge Rontegi), once a sign of the enterprise spirit of all this region and today, after being restored, a monument to the industrial past. Apart from its educational use, the building now is used as a great vantage point from which to stare a magnificent view of the estuary. Under it, a walk leads to the restored Dársena de Portu dock, next to the pier used by the boat-line that links Erandio and Barakaldo.
A little further into this great space and after crossing the new section of road connecting Bilbao with Sestao (unlike the previous one, is not part of Barakaldo), we found a large area on which many installations of the most representative company in the recent history of the province were settled: Altos Hornos de Vizcaya (AHV). Little remains of that great factory, but its headquarters and the pavilion called Ilgner (N. 2), a building for transforming electricity, built in 1926, that served the installations of AHV and, after being carefully restored, today takes the central office of CEDEMI (an institute for the business development of the region) which aims to promote and develop innovative business projects.
Plaza del Desierto
Very near, the new Plaza del Desierto (N. 3) by the architect Eduardo Arroyo (a rectangle of almost fifteen thousand square meters that takes, in a series of urban halls, aquatic systems, playgrounds and seven vantage points designed to break the flat orography of the land), is a real oasis of green areas in a place that was severely deteriorated by industrial processes and has now been populated with new residential buildings.
Today’s route ends at the new soccer field in Lasesarre, (N. 4) another work of Eduardo Arroyo, a modern stadium with capacity of 8,000 spectators seated indoors, a work that competes in magnificence with the new and nearby sports centre that takes the site of the old field, a work done by architects Jorge Muntañola and Alvaro Perez de Amezaga.