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Getxo (Guecho in Spanish) is a town located in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of the Basque Countrymarker, in the north of Spainmarker.It is part of the metrpolitan area of Bilbaomarker (Greater Bilbao), and has about 83,000 inhabitants. Getxo is mostly an affluent residential area, as well as being the third largest municipality of Biscay.

History

Getxo was a parish (anteiglesia, elizatea), originally a rural area, including a large beach at the mouth of the Estuary of Bilbao, centered on the little fishing village of Algortamarker. The parish council met at the church of Getxoko Andra Mari (Basque) or Santa María de Getxo (Spanish) (both mean Our Lady of Getxo), not far from the headland called Punta Galea.

The town's coat of arms has an oak with two cauldrons chained to its branches and the motto Kaltea Dagianak Bizarra Lepoan (Basque for "He who makes evil, the beard at his back").
With industrialisation in the 19th century, some parts of Getxo evolved into residential areas for the rich bourgeois class. A residential area called Neguri (Basque for "Winter Town") came into being. The village of Algorta grew around the church of San Nicolás and the canalisation of the firth, provided for the colonisation of the beach, where a district called Areeta in basque and Las Arenasmarker (Spanish for "The Sands") was built. Near Areeta / Las Arenas, on the other side of the road to Bilbao, there grew a working-class district called Romo, similar to the one that grew near Neguri: Neguri Langile. Finally, in the 20th century, urban development reached the rural areas of Santa María de Getxo.

Getxo, as well as the surrounding area known as Uribe-Kosta, grew rapidly in the last decades of the 20th century. While in the early 80s the town had only 50,000 inhabitants, it has now more than 83,000. The surrounding towns of Leioamarker, Berangomarker and Sopelanamarker have also seen multiplied their population in the same period.

Administration

[[Image:Guecho, Gran Bilbao, España. Monumento a Churruca.jpg|thumb|200px|Monument toEvaristo Churruca in Las Arenasmarker.|left]]

Getxo's office of Mayor has been continuously in the hands of the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) since democracy was restored in 1978 ( Local Elections). Since 1991, the major opposition party has been the Partido Popular. Other parties represented on the Town Council are the Socialist Party of Euskadi (PSE-EE) and the United Left .
Political party Votes % votes town councillors
EAJ-PNV 13 562 35,11 % 10
PP 12 792 33,12 % 10
PSE-EE 6 118 15,84 % 4
IU/Aralar 2 487 6,44 % 1
Eusko Alkartasuna 1 538 4,07% 0
Berdeak 1 293 3,35% 0
Invalid ballots 3 247


Getxo has five different districts, which serve administrative and electoral purposes: Algortamarker, Las Arenasmarker, Romo, Santa María de Getxo and Neguri.

Transport and Tourism

Arriluce lighthouse, Neguri.
It is possible to travel to Getxo from Bilbaomarker using the city's modern underground Metro system, which has 5 stations in the town. Getxo is also accessible from Portugaletemarker, by means of the Puente Colgantemarker transporter bridge. The ferry Pride of Bilbao reaches Portsmouthmarker from Getxo's neighbour Santurcemarker, and Bilbao Airportmarker is also not far away in Loiu (Lujua in Spanish).

Getxo has some tourist appeal with easy access to several beaches, and to the regional economic capital of Bilbao. It has a yacht harbour, a golf course, and several sports complexes (both public and private). A dynamic, semi-autonomous Department of Culture organises many events on a regular basis, including several international music festivals given over to jazz, the blues and folk.

The town has many houses of architectural interest, including the Town Hall and several churches, as well as private dwellings belonging to members of the wealthy industrialist class of Biscay. The Old Harbour district of Algorta and several parks with views across to the bay called the Bilbao Abra are also worth a visit.

Sport

The Arenas Club de Getxo football team is based in Getxo, and took part in the first ever national Spanish football league season.

Getxo Artea is the local rugby team and play in the División de Honor.

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