Church of Saint Anthony the Great

Bilbao, Spain

The Church of San Antón is dedicated to Anthony the Great. It is featured, along with the San Antón Bridge, in the city's coat of arms. The estuary of Bilbao flows next to it.

The church was built at the end of the 15th century on a plot where there had been a years a warehouse for three hundred years. 

In 1300 Diego López de Haro gave the municipal charter. The river and the plot were incorporated to the new village called Bilbao. Some claim that in 1334 Alfonso XI of Castile ordered to build a fortress and wall that were used like a dike against the flood. A wall was discovered in 2002 by an archaeological excavation but the claim is still inconclusive.

Some time later this two buildings were replaced by one church dedicated to Saint Anton Abbot. This church was consecrated in 1433. In that moment the church only has one nave with a rectangular floor and a vaulted roof. 

In 1478 they start a new project to increase the church, because it was very small and the congregation of faithful people was increasing. This enlargement, in Gothic style, was finished in the first part of the 16th century.

Throughout history this church has suffered a lot of damages and was closed two times. The main source of damage was the Nervión river because the church is very close to it. A lot of flooding happened during the history and a part of the furniture inside was affected by it. The last flood was in 1983 and it affected the church; it destroyed furniture, drag doors and railings.

During the war the bombing and fire the church suffer a lot of damages. Especially during the Carlist war. Caused by this war the church had to close because it was used like warehouse of management. The second time when Saint Anton had to close was in 1881. This was caused by the tumbledown state of the church. This restoration done by Sabino Goikoetxea was very polemic because he change a lot of original things.

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Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nuriye Akdemir (13 months ago)
It is worth a visit :)
Soyoung Park (cecilia) (19 months ago)
small churche near ribera. free if already have ticket for Cathedral de Santiago
Pasha Erofeev (2 years ago)
Nice, small place with spiritual sense
Mathew Fedley (2 years ago)
Small cathedral style church which is included in the 5 euro combo with the more impressive church in the old town. It would look great to take photos of this church with reflections from the river at night for the photographer's out there
Giorgio Guglielmino (2 years ago)
It was part of a family day out. I enjoy visiting churches so it was interesting for me listen to the audio guide while looking around.
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