Dear visitor,

we hope you have had time to see a lot of monuments, museums, attractions, restaurants, ... during your stay in our city, but we advise you not to miss "one of the sources of the wisdom of Bilbao". It is in this building where every drop that splashes full of curiosity hundreds of young people every day, young people who study and learn looking at the estuary. The University of Deusto connects with the bridge of the same name, which some have seen open and noisy, and others closed and silent.

Come and meet them!, it's worth it.


The image that the river presents us today differs a lot from that industrial river of the twentieth century. An example of this is the latest report on the ecological status of the Nerbión-Ibaizabal hydrological unit, prepared by the Basque Water Agency (URA), which states that, today, our estuary has a good ecological status. The health of the estuary doesn´t change in few meters, so dear visitor, the ecological status of our estuary stretch is the same in its lenght.

The ecological status of a body of water is established based on the analysis of certain indicators, and follows a classification of 5 levels:

Very good ecological status

Good ecological status

Moderate ecological status

Poor ecological status

Bad ecological status

Among the indicators, there are biological indicators. These show the composition and abundance of important taxonomic groups such as invertebrates, aquatic flora and ichthyological fauna.

In other words, the greater the presence and quantity of relevant taxonomic groups, the better the ecological status we can say that the river has.

In the following document, the taxonomic groups that have been found in the Nervión-Ibaizabal system and the corresponding ecological status of the water inferred from the analysis of them, are shown.

Taxonomic groups.pdf



The bridge of Deusto is a drawbridge of two leaves on the estuary of Bilbao and communicates the two margins of this, Deusto on the right with Abando on the left.

The growth of the city of Bilbao due to industrial and commercial development was so great that the need arose to unite the two zones of the estuary, the former with the expansion. The mayor Federico Moyúa thought about building two bridges, one was the bridge of the Town Hall, the second the bridge of Deusto.

The fluvial traffic was very intense and that forced to construct a bridge that allowed the passage of the boats. A type of drawbridge mobile bridge was chosen, similar to those built in the United States.

The mayor entrusted the project to the engineers Ignacio de Rotaeche and José Ortiz de Artiñano and the architect Ricardo de Bastida.

The works began in 1932 and the bridge was inaugurated in 1936. It was flown, like many other bridges, in 1937 and was soon rebuilt with the name Puente del Generalísimo. In 1979 the name was changed again.

The bridge was the main place of protests and confrontations with the police of the workers of the Euskalduna Shipyards, located right next to them, to defend their jobs when they were closed in 1988 during the industrial reconversion.

It was opened several times a day, but since 1995 it has only been raised on specific occasions.

The main characteristics are the follow:

Type: drawbridge

Length: 500 m

Width: 25 m

Height: 7.96 m

Material: Iron

As a curiosity to say that it has been the scene of several films: "Todo por la pasta", "Adiós pequeña", ...

Deusto bridge before:

Deusto bridge today:


The University of Deusto is a private university of the company of Jesus, whose members are popularly known as the Jesuits. This religious order was founded in 1534 by Ignatius of Loyola and is the largest Catholic religious order today. The University of Deusto is one of the most prestigious universities.

It is located in Bilbao, in front of the estuary, on the Avenue of the Universities.

It was founded by the Jesuits in the year 1886 with the name "University of the Church of Deusto". Bilbao was chosen as its headquarters because of the fame that brought the city as a center of economic development thanks to the port and its commercial activities, and later to the industrial ones. The place where the university was built, was at the same time, an area of ​​vegetable gardens and small shipyards next to the estuary. During the Second Republic and due to the confiscation of the properties of the Church in Spain, the university closed, and it was reopened after the Civil War ended.

The University of Deusto has two campuses: one in Bilbao and the other in Donostia. The campus of Bilbao was declared a Historical Monument in 2002 and is composed of several buildings of great architectural value. One of them is known as "La Literaria" and is a work of classicist style with little ornamentation, that was built in 1886. The building of "La Comercial" is a later neoclassical work, from 1916.

Francisco de Cubas (1826-1889) was the architect who was commissioned to design it.

University of Deusto before:

University of Deusto at the present:

And here ends our journey through this our stretch of the estuary of Bilbao. We wish with all your heart that you have enjoyed walking through its streets and walks, admiring its buildings and its bridges, reflecting on the waters of the estuary and feeling enveloped by the people that populate this city. We wish you a good trip, and do not doubt, come back! We are waiting for you.