|This article does not cite any references (sources). (September 2012)|
|Noble Villa de Portugalete|
|Autonomous community||Basque Country|
|• Alcalde||Mikel Torres (PSE-EE)|
|• Total||3.21 km2 (1.24 sq mi)|
|Elevation||26 m (85 ft)|
|• Density||15,000/km2 (39,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Official language(s)||Basque and Spanish|
The town has 47,756 inhabitants (2013 census) and is part of Bilbao's metropolitan area. It is located at the mouth of the Estuary of Bilbao, on the left bank. Its land area is only 3.21 km², resulting in a population density of 15,908.4 persons/km², the fifth-most densely populated municipality in Spain (following Mislata, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Benetússer, and Santa Coloma de Gramenet).
In 1300 Portugalete became the main competitor port for Bilbao, but it lost its predominant position in 1511 when the trade privileges were granted to the Port of Bilbao instead of Portugalete.
Despite its name, it is not near the Spanish border with Portugal and its name is not etymologically related with that country: it derives, instead, from a phonetic adaptation of its Basque name (Portu-Ugaldeta) to the Spanish language.
The transporter bridge
The city has the Vizcaya Bridge, a transporter bridge. The car ferry is suspended from a frame by wires attached to wheels on tracks above the cabin and moves from one side of the River Nervión to the other (Getxo) via a traction system.
This bridge was declared a World Heritage Site on 13 July 2006.
Events and festivals
San Roque Festivals
The festivals officially last four days, from 14 to 17 August, the main festivities occurring on 15 and 16 August, San Roque Day. The people sing the song "La Diana Portugaluja" outside the Town Hall in the morning of 15 August to mark the eve of San Roque Day.
Monuments in Portugalete include the 15th century Basílica of Santa María, Salazar's Tower, and the town hall in addition to the old mediaeval arches and streets in the older part of the city.
- Official website (in Basque and Spanish)
- PORTUGALETE in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia (Euskomedia Fundazioa) (Spanish)