Ascensor de Begoña, Bilbao, Spain

Rafael Frontan
Date Built
Itxaropen Kalea,  just behind San Nicolas Eliza church
Bilbao has a number of public lifts designed to assist people in moving between the parts of the city separated by significant differences in height.  The Begona elevator was built in 1949 to a design by the architect Rafel Frontan as a link between the El Arenal neighbourhood and the Old Town of Bilbao.  Its Wikipedia page explains that, "... it linked directly with the train station known as Bilbao Customs, later San Nicolás and currently the Zazpikaleak / Casco Viejo metro stop. It was built in reinforced concrete and consists of a walkway that reaches the viewpoint, ... starting from this part a hollow vertical column that transports passengers to the lower part of the city."

The elevator has been closed since July of 2014 and embroiled in an ongoing legal dispute between the concessionaire and the Basque Government over responsibility for its financial losses.  In an article on the website in 2018 Josu Garcia explained that the judges of the Supreme Court ruled that, ".... the Basque Government that left the company to die for the debts, when it was their responsibility to have maintained the economic profitability of a service that continued to serve a population nucleus, although it had far fewer clients than in the past for the social changes that occurred in Bilbao and the entry into service of the metro elevator."