Artistic monuments

Until the last third of the XIX century Bizkaia had a precarious economy. It is easy to deduce therefore, that there are not many examples of rich religious architecture and sculpture.
Within the romanesque architecture the most important church is Andra Mari in Galdakao and the oldest hermitage is San Pedro de Abrisketa, in Arrigorriaga. The hermitage of San Miguel de Zumetxaga and the parish of San Pelayo in Bakio also deserve a special mention. Other facades in this style have been preserved to be used in later buildings (San Salvador in Frúniz, Andra Mari in Lemoiz, San Miguel de Linares in Arcentales, Andra Mari de Gautegiz in Arteaga, San Roque and San Sebastián Del Monte Kolitza in Balmaseda, San Bartholome de Olarte in Orozko and Santa Lucía in Igorre). Other surviving architectural features (baptismal piles, windows. etc) can also be found in more than a dozen churches and hermitages.

Among the Gothic Temples Santiago in Bilbao, Santa Maria in Lekeitio, San Antonio Abad in Bilbao, Santa Maria in Gernika and San Severino in Balmaseda should all be highlighted. Of those in which can be seen the transition from Gothic to Renaissance Santa Maria de Güeñes, Santa Eufemia in Bermeo, Santa Maria in Erandio and Santa Maria de Axpe in Busturia are all deserving of mention. At this time beautiful stone crosses were built, of which the cross of Krutziaga in Durango is the most important example.

During the Renaissance time, some temples, made in XVI century, still have gothic architectural styles and belong to the so called "Basque gothic ". Some examples of this style are: Santa Maria in Ondarroa, San Pedro in Mungia, San Agustín in Etxebarria, Purísima Concepción in Elorrio, San Pedro in Loiu, The " Colegiata" in Zenarruza, Santa Maria in Xemein, San Martín in Zamudio, San Pedro in Deusto, Santa Maria in Portugalete, Santa Maria in Begoña, Encarnacion in Atxuri and San Vicente Martir de Abando, in Bilbao.

Of the temples in Baroque style Los Santos Juanes and San Nicolas in Bilbao, Santa Maria in Lezama and Santecilla in Carranza are the most outstanding. We cannot ignore the innumerable and beautiful baroque towers, like Santa Maria in Otxandio, San Miguel in Iurreta, Purísima Concepcion de Elorrio and San Antonio Abad in Bilbao.

Of the Neoclassic temples Santa Maria in Bermeo, Santa Maria in Larrabetzu, San Bartholome de Aldeacueva-Carranza, San Miguel in Iurreta and Santa Maria de Gorostiza in Nabarniz all stand out. In contemporary times, at the end of the XIX century, the tower and the facade of Santiago in Bilbao, the Jesuits' church and residence and San Francisco in Bilbao are built.

A last reference regarding the most interesting altarpieces. Within the Hispanic-Flemish style the most important are the ones in Lekeitio, the San Emeterio one, the San Celedonio de Goikolegea one and Gizaburuaga, which is in the Archaeological Museum of Bilbao. From the Renaissance altarpieces Santa Maria in Portugalete, Andra Mari de Elexalde in Galdakao, San Agustín in Etxebarria, Santa Maria in Zenarruza, Santa Maria de Xemein, and the sides of San Pedro de Deusto can be mentioned; later on, Santa Maria in Durango, Zeberio, Elorrio, Trucíos, Carranza, Zeanuri etc. From the Baroque period there are more than sixty interesting altarpieces, particularly those in Ermua, Amorebieta and Elorrio. Of the neoclassic altarpieces, those in Rigoitia, Begoña and San Vicente Martyr of Abando must be remembered.

Santiago in Bilbao (1819), Santa Maria in Lekeitio (1884), Nuestra Señora de Begoña (1908), Santa Maria in Portugalete (1950) and Purísima Concepcion in Elorrio (1966) are Basilical churches. On the 5th December 2001 the title of Minor Basilica was granted to the Church of Santa Maria de Uríbarri in Durango by the Congregation for the Divine Cult and Discipline of the Sacraments.

Also, several religious buildings of the Diocese have been declared to be of "artistic or monumental interest" by the Basque Government and others are in the process of being declared as such.

In 2001, The Cultural Department of the Basque Government made public a list of the altarpieces catalogued as monuments. (Decree 273/2000, 19th of December)

Aulestia:San Juan Bautista de Murelaga's Parish Church
Areatza (Villaro): San Bartolome's Parish Church
Bakio:San Pelayo's Parish Hermitage
Balmaseda: San Severino's Parish Church
San Juan del Moral's Church
Bermeo: Santa Eufemia's Parish Church
Santa María's Church
San Francisco's Old Cloister / San Francisco's Convent
Bilbao: Santiago's Cathedral
Los Santos Juanes's Parish Church
San Antón's Parish Church
San Nicolas's Parish Church
San Francisco de Asís's Parish Church
Busturia: Santa María's Parish Church
Santo Cristo's Hermitage
Durango: Santa María de Uríbarri's Parish Church
Santa Ana's Parish Church
Elorrio:Purísima Concepción's Parish Church
Galdakao:Andra Mari Church
Getxo: San Ignacio's Parish Church
Nuestra Señora del Carmen Church
Güeñes:Santa María's Parish Church
Larrabetzu: La Asunción's Parish Church
San Emeterio and San Celedonio (Goikolexea)'s Parish Church
Lekeitio: Santa María's Parish Church
San José's Church
Santo Domingo´s Convent
Markina: Santa María's Parish Church and its cemetery
Zenarruza's "Colegiata"
Carmen's Church and Convent
San José's Church and Convent
La Merced's Church and Convent
Santo Tomás de Bolivar's Parish Church
Otxandio:Santa Marina's Parish Church
Plentzia:Santa María Magdalena's Parish Church
Portugalete:Santa María's Parish Church
Amorebieta:La Asunción de Nuestra SeñoraMajor altarpiece
Arteaga:Santa María de GautegizMajor Altarpiece
Bermeo: La Asunción de Santa MaríaAltarpieces with S. Juan Bautista, Inmaculada
Concepción, Ntra. Sra. del Rosario y S. José
Concepción, Ntra. Sra. del Rosario y S. José 
Bérriz:San Juan BautistaMajor Altarpiece
Bilbao: Santos JuanesMajor Altarpiece and side ones
San Nicolás de BariMajor Altarpiece and La Piedad, S. Blas, S. José
S. Crispín y Crispiniano
S. Crispín y Crispiniano 
Durango:Santa María de UríbarriMajor Altarpiece
Elorrio:Purísima ConcepciónMajor Altarpiece
Ermua:SantiagoMajor Altarpiece
Galdakao:Andra Mari de ElexaldeMajor Altarpiece
Goikolexea:Santos Emeterio y CeledonioMajor Altarpiece
Gordexola:San Juan DegolladoMajor Altarpiece
Güeñes:Santa MaríaMajor Altarpiece
Lekeitio:La Asunción de Nuestra SeñoraMajor Altarpiece
Markina: La Asunción de Nuestra SeñoraMajor Altarpiece
Convento de Nª. Sª. del CarmenMajor Altarpiece and co-lateral ones
Portugalete:Santa MaríaMajor Altarpiece
Zeanuri:La Asunción de Nuestra SeñoraMajor Altarpiece
Zenarrutza:La Asunción de Nuestra SeñoraMajor Altarpiece

In Orduña, a Biscayan city belonging to the Diocese of Vitoria, the Cultural Department of the Basque Government has catalogued as monuments the temples of Santa Maria and San Juan (Holy Family) and the altarpieces in "Nuestra Señora de la Antigua" Church ( the biggest ones) and the sides of the Josefins School.