Ever since the early 20th century Bilbao has been the economic powerhouse of the Basque Country and one of the strongest economic areas in Spain. Its spectacular growth and significant cultural development have made the area a real magnet. After years of economic uncertainty, Bilbao has recovered its energy as a service-based city devoted to environmental and urban recovery. As former industrial sites have been released for redevelopment, the city has undergone far-reaching changes that have made it more and more attractive as a place to live and visit. The impressive Guggenheim Museum and the Palacio Euskalduna conference centre and concert hall complex have become the symbols of Bilbao’s new service ethos. More and more areas continue to be recovered for the enjoyment of local residents.