Bilbao. BBVA Bank and the Bank of Spain (Banco BBVA, Banco de España)
A block from the Circular square is the outstanding work of the architect Pedro Guimón. The project of the commercial Bank building was developed in 1912, but construction began somewhat later, in 1919 and was completed in 1923. Currently, it houses the Central office of BBVA Bank (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria on the map), but the building is often referred to as Antiguo Banco Comercio. The building has 2 facades facing the Gran via and the Alameda de Masarredo, which are a colonnade of the Corinthian order on a high pedestal.
The portal is located at the junction of the facades, it is crowned by a corner tower-a penthouse.
In front of it, you can see an elegant figure of mercury, the work of the sculptor Juan Bolonia. In the evening, the building is very beautifully illuminated.
Opposite is the building of the Bank of Spain (Banco de España), which was built simultaneously with the Commercial Bank, in 1919-1923. The author of the project is the architect Julian de Apraiz. It is a classic building with rounded corners, facing the narrow street Ledesma, which runs parallel to the Gran via, in addition to the Gran via and the Adameda de Masaredo. The lower floors are formed by pilasters with Corinthian completion, large window openings have two Tuscan columns on the first floor and Doric on the second.
The cornices of the upper floor are decorated with bas-reliefs and vases in the neo-Baroque style. In General, the building looks very harmonious, despite the mix of different styles of decoration.
On the other side of Gran via is the largest Department store in Bilbao-El Corte Ingles.