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Iruña Cafe

Bilbao, Bizkaia

Audioguide of the Iruña Cafe

What to see in the Iruña Cafe

There is no doubt that in our great-grandparent’s times people also stayed up late, went out for a beer and would drink one or two bottles in one night. It turns out that in the first three decades of the twentieth century, Bilbao was the perfect place to do all those things. It was as if Paris was planted in the Cantabrian coast, full of amusements, cabarets, breweries and other places to go and show off your moustache, cane and elegant hat.

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There is no doubt that in our great-grandparent’s times people also stayed up late, went out for a beer and would drink one or two bottles in one night. It turns out that in the first three decades of the twentieth century, Bilbao was the perfect place to do all those things. It was as if Paris was planted in the Cantabrian coast, full of amusements, cabarets, breweries and other places to go and show off your moustache, cane and elegant hat.

The chronicles of the time speak a lot about the Kurding Club, where all the young members, most of them from well-established families, took art and philosophy as excuses to go drinking and to cuddle with ladies of relaxed customs. And here we have the great survivor of those times in Bilbao: the Café Iruña, which is still located across the Albia gardens, conserving its enormous charm along with that particular flavour of a place with a bit of history. Many things happened here, and many people were entertained!

Come in and take a good look at the marble, the ceiling and the tiles. It is possible that the stuccos with a Mudejar style remind you of the Alhambra in Granada which you can see in one of the many restored murals.

In 1980 the Cafe was declared a Unique Monument, to which we must add its inclusion in the lists of the best Cafes in Spain. Nothing less should be expected! A curious fact is that to find a similar place that will take you to the Belle Epoque as you cross its door, you will have to go to Pamplona and look for another café that, in fact, shares its name with this one.

At the tables of the Iruña, the Spanish writer Pio Baroja placed his elbows while discussing serious issues and Unamuno, a Spanish philosopher and writer, had good times with his creations of origami. Today, in memory of those characters and the city of that time, on the last Saturday of June a vintage parade is celebrated under the name of Bilbao 1900, in which around a hundred people, dressed according to the fashion of a century ago, stroll through the streets of the Villa. So, if you like, you can join them and do their usual stop at the Iruña, but of course, don’t forget your cape and your hat.


Iruña Cafe

Colon de Larreategui, 13
48001 Bilbao
(+34) 944 23 70 21

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Tags: Modernism

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