Bilbao in Spain lies on the banks of the Nervión, a tidal river. This green city also has a rich cultural and architectural heritage which makes it a popular tourist attraction. One of the landmarks in Bilabo is the Basilica of Begoña dedicated to the patron saint of Biscay, the Virgin Begoña.
Designed by Sancho Martínez de Arego, the basilica has three naves along with vaults. The main entrance of the basilica has a shape of a magnificent arch depicting Gothic style. The rest of the building retains the unitarian Gothic style.
The clock tower of the basilica houses 24 bells, with the heaviest weighing a tonne, and were built in Sumiswald, Switzerland. The history of the clock tower dates back to 1922, and currently, seven different melodies can be produced.
During the 19th century, the basilica was damaged as a result of it forming part of Bilbao’s city wall. The current tower and part of the exterior were designed by José María Basterra and built between 1902 and 1907.
The basilica comes to life during the celebrations every year on 15 August (Assumption of Mary), and 11 October, the saint day of Begoña. Midnight mass is celebrated on these occasions, with pilgrimages taking place as locals and visitors go to worship.
The basilica is open to the public from Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 1:30pm and 4:30pm to 8:30pm.