Category Archives: History

Basque Fact of the Week: Legal to Kill Basques in Iceland

As part of their ever-expanding quest to find fish and whales, the Basques ventured further and further west across the Atlantic. Of course, they are well known to have established settlements in Newfoundland, where they had oil processing plants to process the whale blubber into oil. However, things didn’t always turn out so great everywhere […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Sanctuary of Arantzazu

The Sanctuary of Arantzazu is nestled in the mountains just outside of the city of Oñati, famous itself for the University of Oñati, one of the oldest buildings in Iberia. Arantzazu is known for its uncharacteristic and distinctly modern look, “one of the most avant-garde religious buildings in the world“. The spires are covered in […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Joaquin Murrieta, the Inspiration for Zorro

The US West is literally littered with Basque names. Basques came directly to herd sheep, but they also came earlier as part of the Spanish Conquest. One part of the conquistador legacy is the surnames that abound not only in the US but in other parts of the Americas. Murrieta, a name that possibly means […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Seroras, the Women Caretakers of the Church

It is often said that the Basque people came to Christianity relatively late as compared to their neighbors in the rest of Europe. When they did, however, they did so with fervor and Catholicism is the dominant religion of the region. While only fragments of the pre-Catholic religion remain, they find their way into the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Heresy of Durango

Durango, in the heart of Bizkaia, is one of the province’s most important towns. It is the namesake of both the city and state of Durango in Mexico and of Durango, Colorado in the United States. During its history, Durango has been involved in events such as the War of the Bands and bombing during […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Biarritz

The Basque city of Biarritz, located in Iparralde in the provice of Lapurdi, was recently in the news as it hosted the G7 summit. Much was made of especially the first ladies strolling and visiting what is now a popular tourist and surfing destination. It was a playing spot for kings and queens. But, Biarritz […]