The precise origins of Bilbao have not been determined. However, a settlement had already been established and had significantly developed on both banks of the "ría del Nervión" before it officially became a villa. It was Don Diego López de Haro V, lord of Vizcaya, who gave the city his title in the year 1300, due to its great importance as a commercial and maritime centre at the time.
The singular location of the city allowed it to continue growing. The maritime business developed rapidly, whilst the original population spread out on both sides of the river. The commercial exchanges fuelled the cultural enrichment of the city, which also benefited from the arrival of the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela.
The enrichment of Bilbao represents a new concept of city, the construction of beautiful buildings, parks and a modern urban design, with new walks and avenues traced to squadrom.
Bilbao will become the in the 20th century the economic referent of the Basque Country and one of the most important in the state, around its industrial pole. Big industries will be appear and the a real consolidatation of the Bank.
Despite the economic crisis of the 20th century, Bilbao faces the future with a new concept of the city, modern, dynamic and,the most important, attractive to visitors, where the spaces occupaid by the industrial zones are transformed into models of architecture, engineering and urban planning.