The Original Designer


The Great Bridge of Bizkaia was designed by Mr. Martín Alberto de Palacio y Elissague, an exceptional and highly knowledgeable professional of his time. He studied architecture at the School of Architecture in Barcelona and traveled to Paris, where he studied various disciplines.
His childhood was marked by the influence of his parents, and that would have a significant impact on his future decisions. From a very young age, he lived in the Epalza House in Portugalete, standing out as an exceptional student.
In 1882, he graduated in Architecture from the School of Architecture in Barcelona, without any doubt, thanks to the Senate's decision and without defending his final project. After completing these studies, he went to Paris, where he would learn various disciplines such as engineering, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine.

Bizkaia Zubia

The first transporter bridge in the world was built with a metal structure. It is located at the mouth of the Ibaizabal River, in a strategic location connecting the bustling coastal area of Bilbao to the sea. It was inaugurated on July 28, 1893, with its large iron body linking the towns of Portugalete and Getxo, designed to overcome the rugged and difficult coastline and provide a low and wide access to the sea. The construction of this bridge facilitated communication between these two small summer towns, without interrupting the navigation of one of Europe’s busiest river ports.

Two different technological innovations were combined:

The modern engineering of cable-stayed bridges developed in the mid-19th century, along with the advanced techniques of large-scale mechanical propulsion.


In any case, when the Basque architect Don Alberto Palacio y Elissague began developing the project to build a structure that would connect the banks of the Nervión River, he carried out meticulous work, exploring almost all the available options at that time: railways, barges, floating barges, and all types of bridges: swing bridges, suspension bridges, bascule bridges, cable-stayed bridges, lift bridges, etc.

After a thorough technical analysis, all of these options were ruled out.

Until the dream of transforming the Anezka Bridge into a castle was achieved. Its design fulfilled all the necessary requirements: providing the opportunity for travelers and cargo transportation, ensuring unobstructed navigation, offering cost-effective construction, and guaranteeing regular service.