Wander through ancient chapels, admire centuries-old religious art and visit a Gothic cloister at this important Roman Catholic building.
Embark on a self-guided tour of Santiago Cathedral, the oldest building in Bilbao. This Gothic structure, constructed toward the end of the 14th century is also known as Bilbao Cathedral and is dedicated to St. James the Apostle, the patron saint of the city.
Contemplate the church's impressive bell tower, spire and main façade, which is not original to the building. The current design with its pointed portico and large stained-glass window is from the middle of the 19th century.
Take your time exploring the large and beautiful interior with its three naves, vaulted ceilings and multiple chapels. Visit the Chapel of Montserrat to see a Baroque altarpiece that's thought to date back to 1700. Go to the Chapel of St. Antón where there is a 15th-century statue of the early Christian monk who is also known as Anthony the Great. Among the highlights of the main chapel is the statue of Christ above the altar which dates back to around 1515.
Stop by the sacristy where priests' vestments and sacred vessels are kept. Study the Baroque painting of the Virgin Mary ascending into heaven and the 16th-century carving of Christ on the cross. Walk around the 16th-century Gothic cloister.
Located in the heart of the old town, the cathedral is easy to get to by public transportation or on foot from other major attractions such as Arriaga Theater and the Basque Museum. Street parking is limited so park for a fee in nearby garages.
Santiago Cathedral is open daily to visitors except during religious services and entrance is by admission ticket. There is no charge for children, disabled persons or pilgrims on their way to Santiago. The cathedral is on the Camino de Santiago, a network of Christian pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James in northern Spain. Tickets also include access to the Church of San Antón, a 15th-century riverside church that's a short walk from the cathedral.