This graceful manor-house design is the only one of its kind left in Bilbao. It is an elegant and sweeping country estate with classic caserío (farmhouse) details surrounded by the generally hard-edged Ensanche. Now the official seat of the Athletic de Bilbao soccer club, the house was originally the residence of the de la Sota family, whose most outstanding member, Ramón de la Sota, founded the company Euskalduna and became one of the most important shipbuilders
in Europe. His company specialized in ship repair and opened shipyards in New York, London, Rotterdam, and Paris. Awarded the title "sir" by Great Britain for his services to the Allied cause in World War I, de la Sota went on to found the Euskalerria Basque rights organization, which later joined forces with the Basque Nationalist party. Because of his affiliation with Basque nationalism, Sir Ramón de la Sota's properties and businesses were seized by the Franco regime in 1939 and not returned to the family until 1973. You can step inside the lobby, but the house is no longer open to the public for tours. It's nevertheless still worthwhile to view from the outside.