Tag Archives: spanish civil war

Basque Fact of the Week: Ikastolas, the Basque Schools

Basque is an ancient language, predating the Indo-European languages of Europe that surround it. Despite this long history, it is only recently that Basque has become a literary language, with a healthy, if small, corpus of written works. Perhaps even more surprising is that the formal teaching of subjects in the Basque language is not […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Cristóbal Balenciaga Eizaguirre

This year is the 500th anniversary of Magellan’s expedition, which culminated in Juan Sebastián Elcano becoming the first person to intentionally circumnavigate the planet. Elcano hailed from the small Basque coastal town Getaria, Gipuzkoa, just twenty-five kilometers west of Donostia/San Sebastián. However, Elcano is not the only famous son of Getaria and, in fact, isn’t […]

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: Basques Immigrated to Wales

We are all familiar with the large waves of Basque migration to the Americas and Australia. But there was also a small group of Basques who immigrated to Wales, in the United Kingdom. They were recruited to the city of Dowlais, some 60 miles from Cardiff. They came to the region because of the steel […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Improvisational Poetry

Bertsolaritza, or Basque Improvisational Poetry, is the art of composing, on the spot and impromptu, sung couplets about a given topic. A specific meter and rhyme must be followed. Competitions are held for the best bertsolaris, or singers of of these poems, but bertsolaris are also famous for singing impromptu at any gathering. While the […]

A Basque refugee

Eighty years ago, Spain was mired in a civil war that pitted the Republican government and its allies against the Nationalist forces of Franco. As Franco’s forces gained ground in the Basque Country, thousands of people, mostly children, fled to other lands, becoming refugees. Britain alone took nearly 4000 children. This is the story of […]