Picture-perfect Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque) is the capital and cultural epicenter of Spain`s Basque Country. It is the largest city and metropolitan area in northern Spain, and it is also one of the most heavily-industrialized cities in the country. Founded in the fourteenth century, Bilbao became one of the Kingdom of Castile`s most important ports by the late Renaissance period. Situated between the Cantabrian Mountains and the Pyrenees, Bilbao is well-known for its temperate climate, as the city experiences cooler and wetter summers compared to other cities in Spain. In the early 1990s, the city government, inspired by the budding urbanist movement, green-lit the development of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which revitalized the entire port area and much of the downtown area called Abando. This long-running urban renewal project won Bilbao accolades such as the World City Prize, awarded in part by the Nobel Academy.
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