The city's heart of finance and shopping.
The Carlton and its 'disguised' steps.
Did you know that Bilbao was founded twice? First, don Diego Lopez de Haro, known as ‘the Intruder’, founded the city on the 15th of June 1300 by means of Town Charter. Ten years later, in 1310, Maria Diaz de Haro repeated the same Town Charter process, using almost exactly the same words, but omitting the previous foundation. The Bilbao Gran Via pays homage to its founder. Stretching over one and a half kilometres, it starts at Circular Plaza (España Plaza) and ends at the feet of he Sacred Heart. This avenue has become the epicentre of Bilbao activity. It combines a large shopping area with the heart of finance. You can, therefore, find all sorts of shops and restaurants on this road, as well as the most important businesses and institutional buildings. When passing Moyua Square, you will see the Carlton Hotel. This building was the first headquarters of the Basque Government, and if you look at its entrance steps, you will see that they have been converted into windows. These were the headquarters’ windows, as, for security reasons, it was located in the basement, now the hotel’s wine cellar.