Durango: Very Best Top 5 Locations in Casco Viejo
Durango is a in the south east part of the province of Biscay. This city sits in a narrow valley formed by the Ibaizabal river. The mountains on the west side of the valley tower over Durango and are impressive. Durango's history goes back to around the 13th century. It has an Old Town (Casco Viejo) that is wonderful to explore and spend some time.
Durango has the largest population of Durangaldea and is the capital city. The population of Durango is roughly 30 thousand. Durangaldea is one of the seven counties (comarcas) that make up the province of Biscay.
Durango is located just 30km away from Bilbao. It can be reached in less than an hour from the city centre of Bilbao. When driving you can take either the toll highway (Auto-pista) AP8 or the free highway, the N634. As the N634 is a toll free highway it will take you an extra 10-20 minutes, give or take. It is worth noting that the toll for this section is only 1Euro.
You can also get to Durango using the Euskotren. The Euskotren is the state owned train system. To get to Durango you would take the E1 line to zone four. The cost of the train to Durango from Bilbao is 3.40 Euros per person. There are multiple trains that go back and forth between the two places throughout the day.
The Old Town (Casco Viejo) is a particularly beautiful part of Durango. If you don't stop to admire the sites you can walk around the Casco Viejo in about 20 minutes. Although it is not that large of an area it has a huge presence within the city. If you go to Durango you must take some time to visit this gorgeous area.
The streets of Casco viejo are narrow and are mostly for pedestrian traffic only. However, if you live there you can get a permit to drive on these streets. The names of the main streets of this neighborhood are Arrenkale, Artekale, Goienkale, Kalebarria, and Zeharkale.
The Basilica of Santa María
The Basilica is a large building made out of stone. It is a mixture of both Gothic and Renaissance architecture. One one side of this church is a plaza with a few restaurants to sit and enjoy the view.
Next to the plaza is a covered area with some beautifully old wooden arches. This area is a great reprieve from the hot summer sun.
Santa Ana Basilica
After you're done admiring the Basilica head down Goienkale street and you will come to the Santa Ana Plaza. This plaza contains multiple different features that are worth taking some time to ponder, study and enjoy.
The Santa Ana Basilica corners one side of the plaza and looks over a restaurant on the far side. This Basilica has a tall clock tower with a cross on top. The lower part of the cathedral shows its strength with seven stone arches. This is a common area for locals to gather and hangout.
Arch of Santa Ana
Next to the Cathedral is the Arch of Santa Ana which is the only section of what is known as the old wall. This fortification was built in 1556. It's design is in the Baroque style of architecture.
On the other side of the Arch of Santa Ana is a small river called the Mañaria Ibaia. When you go through the arch you will find a place to sit next to the river. This part of the river has a small waterfall and is a great place to look back and observe the Santa Ana Plaza. This river also signifies the border of the Casco Viejo.
When you return to the plaza on the left side you can take Artekale street towards the Santa Filomena. The Santa Filomena was built in the 16th Century. It is now the city hall and has two plazas next to it. One on either side of the many arches that give strength and structure.
Above the arches is an iron fenced patio. The facade of the upper half of the building has a bright attention grabbing mural unlike anything else. It is vibrant in its colouring and takes up the entire second half of the building. The mural wraps around three sides of the building and contains a lot of detail.
Durango is a beautiful city surrounded by the mountains. It has a rich history that can still be seen today. This vibrant city is a stone's throw from Bilbao and worth the short trip. Treat yourself.