Irala-Barri

iralabarriThis is not a famous area of Bilbao, but it’s very interesting in many senses. Back in 1917, it was the first big real estate promotion in Spain and the constructions followed the style of the big neighbourhoods built in the XIX century in the main industrial cities of the UK.

The entrepreneur behind this promotion was Juan José Irala, who owned a bread factory nearby. He owned land and wanted to increase the quality of life of his workers. So the houses were built with the best conditions: bathroom, garden, kitchen and water. Being very religious, he was also against the use of alcohol, which took him to forbid bars being opened in the area. Schools and sports areas were also built.

15 streets were built with villas and apartments, all designed by local architect Federico Ugalde, and almost 3,000 people came to live to this neighbourhood by 1920. First came the workers of his bread factory and later other middle class people from Bilbao. Irala even placed ads in newspapers and public buses in order to bring customers to his new business. And he was very successful. May houses are still there.

iralabarri

iralabarri


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