48 hours to discover the secrets of Bilbao: we enter the Miribilla police station, La Bolsa and the Bidebarrieta Library
The Open House movement opens the doors of emblematic buildings in the Biscayan capital that are usually closed this weekend
This weekend the Open House is celebrated in Bilbao. This event offers the privilege of being able to visit the entrails of buildings that are closed to the public. EL CORREO has entered the central police station of the Municipal Police in Miribilla and La Bolsa, which open their doors for the first time to this experience, and in the majestic Bidebarrieta library, a classic. The splendid day, with blue skies and the sun of justice, after a week of seeing rain, has pushed people out into the street, which is why long queues have been seen in some of the most emblematic buildings, such as the Bank of Spain , on the Gran Vía, or the Chávarri Palace, in the Moyua square.
The Local Police station and the Fire Brigade base are also very successful, especially among the smallest. The spectacular metal and glass cube that houses the police headquarters reveals some of its inner secrets. It is not the first time that José Manuel and Luis set foot in a police station. They have had to go on more than one occasion “unfortunately” to report theft, of a mobile phone and other belongings. “They are buildings that you normally do not see, pass by,” they warn.
By groups, citizens can sit at the so-called ‘crisis table’, which in an emergency or catastrophe situation such as floods, for example, would be occupied by those responsible for the different emergency services, including the Ertzaintza or the Fire Department. A giant screen with different monitors is broadcasting the images that are broadcast by surveillance cameras scattered around the city and that “are kept for a month,” explains the guide. But what arouses the most interest in the little ones are the dungeons, which are not seen. There are 10 singles, two community rooms and a room for minors. And the weapons, which don’t appear anywhere either, since they are in a safe place. The police station has a room to assist women victims of abuse and provide “warmer and more intimate attention”, which will be reformed soon. The views offered by its large windows from the top of Miribilla are “spectacular”.
The Stock Market, by the architect Enrique Epalza, the same as the Basurto hospital or the Derio cemetery, was built in 1903 together with the Bilbao Society, which can be visited on Sundays. It was the second to open after Madrid. Before, it was located on the ground floor of the Arriaga theater, where the first session was held on February 5, 1881. The public could not enter the park, women – there would not be many stockbrokers – could not wear pants and pants were also prohibited. umbrella. The tension that was experienced could turn them into a weapon, as Covadonga, the guide, explains gracefully. «He has sold me 100 ‘iberdueros’ for five pesetas!», They could reproach each other.
Since 1989 ceased to be used for stock transactions. “They are done at home from the computer,” he clarifies. But there are still monitors where you can see how the stock price fluctuates. It has not yet been opened to the public since the pandemic, so it is an exceptional opportunity to emerge.
The College of Stockbrokers, which could compete for a place, sold the building to the Basque Government which, in 1990, undertook a remodeling. From the old Stock Exchange, the façade and the counting room are preserved, with the desks worn out from use and surrounded by pictures of the trustees, the figure with the highest authority. The first, of whom there is a sculpture at the entrance, was Casimiro Acha, and the last, Ignacio Fernández.
As an architect by profession, Gabriela, who has also served as a guide at the Euskalduna Palace, is interested in the use given to the space, which is why she has chosen La Bolsa and the Aburto Palace, where she has been left without a place due to the high demand.
The Bidebarrieta library (1890), which houses 130,000 volumes, dedicated to study in the morning, shows its entrails from half past two in the afternoon. The most striking, the stained glass window designed by the Bilbao architect Severino Achúcarro, the bomb that penetrated the building owned by the El Sitio company during the Carlist Wars, the bust of Unamuno or the frescoes by Anselmo Guinea.
“But, where are the books?” asks Victoria, who together with her husband Javier, have moved from Extremadura for family reasons. «It makes me sad that everything is digitized, although I understand it. An old-fashioned library with dim lights was waiting for me », she acknowledges. In any case, the building is impressive and is one of the unmissable events in cultural Bilbao. The organizers of the Open House hope to return to the pre-pandemic figures, when there were more than 35,000 visitors.