Thursday, 25 September 2014

Bilbao, Spain

The first four minutes of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH are set in Bilbao, the largest city of the Spanish Basque Country. James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) visits a Swiss bank, not quite by accident located across from the Guggenheim Museum, the city’s eye catcher. The museum was designed by Frank Gehry and is situated on the banks of the river Nervión.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 30 May 2014
The building is a construction made out of titanium, glass and limestone. It was opened by king Juan Carlos on 18 October 1997. A few days earlier an assault was prevented when members of ETA disguised as gardeners tried to place a bomb inside ‘Puppy’, a 12 meter high sculpture by Jeff Koons. This piece of art, a terrier made out of living flowers, is in front of the museum’s entrance.

In the first scene James Bond walks on the Calle Iparraguirre towards the Guggenheim Museum and Puppy is also visible. Filming took place between 16 and 18 February 1999 and attracted large crowds of people, note the spectators behind fences in the background. The weather did not help either, Bilbao has a sea climate and it often rains, also when we were visiting.

The World is not Enough, 0:00:30
Calle Iparraguirre, Bilbao, 28 May 2014
The World is not Enough, 0:00:37
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 28 May 2014
'Puppy', Jeff Koons, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 28 May 2014

During the meeting in the bank on the sixth floor (in real life it is a law firm) James Bond is being attacked but he manages to escape in a spectacular way by jumping from the balcony with the help of a curtain cord and one the bank employees. When he walks on the bridge Puente de la Salve the museum is seen again from a different angle. Since the movie was shot another work of art by Jeff Koons was added (bottom right on the photo). ‘Tulips’ consists of seven giant, shiny tulips. On the occasion of the museum’s tenth anniversary the bridge was also given a work of art, ‘L’arc rouge’ by French artist Daniel Buren. At night a light show can be seen on the red arch.

The World is not Enough, 0:03:59
Bilbao, 28 May 2014
The World is not Enough, 0:04:25
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 28 May2014
'Tulips', Jeff Koons, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 28 May 2014
The World is not Enough, 0:04:28
Puente de la Salve, Bilbao, 28 May 2014
'L'arc rouge', Daniel Buren, Bilbao, 28 May 2014
Screenshots © EON Productions


  1. Excellent thank you this was interesting and helpful as I'll be going there in a couple of weeks. I am going to write to the law firm to see if I will be allowed into the building

    1. Thanks for your reply, let me know if you succeeded getting into the building.

  2. Roslyn Pittoni21 June 2018 at 09:57

    Many thanks for this. My brother from Australia is there at the moment. I just commented that a James Bond movie was shot in Bilbao. Our grandfather was born there in the late 1800s. It is nice to go back to ones roots.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you will get the opportunity to visit Bilbao yourself one day.