Bilbao (pop. 369,800), major seaport in northern Spain and former capital of a once autonomous Basque region. The town is built on both sides of the Nervión River, 8 mi (13 km) from the Bay of Biscay. The banks of the Nervión below the city are lined with shipyards, blast furnaces, and factories, for Bilbao is one of Spain's leading centers of heavy industry. The good harbor and rail connections have helped make the city the most important port on Spain's Atlantic coast. Iron ore, lead ore, and steel products rank high among its exports. Also important are wine, olive oil, and canned fish. The 14th-century city on the right bank has provisions for drainage, ventilation, and orderly pedestrian traffic that were advanced for their time.
See also: Spain.