Saint James' Cathedral
Pilgrims, the scallop shell will show you the path to follow.
Many memories are kept here.
St. James’ Cathedral is the monument in charge of keeping the memories of Old Bilbao, founded by Diego Lopez de Haro in 1300, alive. Not many people know that this building is not the same one that existed back then. After a large fire, it was only in 1404 that they began work on today’s building, which was finished at the end of the 15th century. This Gothic construction was built in honour of Saint James he Greater, Patron Saint of the Cathedral and of Bilbao. It is now the headquarters of the Diocese of Bilbao and is strategically located as one of the obligatory stops on the Santiago de Compostela walking route. Its north façade, or ‘Angel’s Door’, features a scallop shell, showing pilgrims which way to go. The Cathedral suffered terrible flooding during the 90s, due to its close proximity to Bilbao River. Renovations lasted until 2000, which now allow you to start your visit to the Old Town from here. The terraces surrounding the Cathedral are a great place to sit and observe this mighty building, as long as it isn’t raining!