Tag Archives: bilbao

Basque Fact of the Week: The “Butter Buns” of Bilbao

When I visited my dad’s family in Munitibar, I’d stay with his brother Martin and his wife Rosario. They ran the Herriko Taberna. Each morning, after I woke up, I’d make my way to the bar. Rosario was already hard at work, cleaning the bar and preparing the days meals. I’d take my seat at […]

Basque Fact of the Week: José Antonio Aguirre y Lecube, the First Basque President

Today, the three Basque provinces of Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa form the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC), a political entity within Spain that is led by the Lehendakari, or President, of the BAC. However, if we look back in time, the first Lehendakari presided over a very different government. The first Basque government was formed from […]

Basque Fact of the Week: John Adams’s Basque Adventure

It was 1779 and John Adams and his sons were on their way to Paris with the goal of establishing a commercial treaty with Great Britain and ending the Revolutionary War. On the way, however, their ship was battered by storms and they limped their way into Spain. After some debate and discussion, Adams and […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The War of the Bands

It’s the late 1300s. The Castilian Civil War just ended and families in the Basque Country are jockeying for political power in the vacuum left behind. Old feuds that have simmered for centuries ignite. Families build towers to fortify their lands and their surroundings. The aide (or ahaide) nagusiak, the leading kinsmen, gather strength. War […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Science Innovation

The Basque Country has always been known for its industriousness, from master shipbuilding and navigation to the steel industry that made Bilbao so famous. Transitioning into the 21st century, the Basque Autonomous Community has pushed hard to establish a more modern base to the economy, including investing in and promoting basic science. One of the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

At the heart of Bilbao’s transformation from an industrial center to a world-renowned tourist destination sits the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. While today, one cannot think of the city without envisioning the museum, there was significant resistance to the construction at the time. Now, other cities try to reproduce the so-called “Bilbao Effect” or “Guggenheim Effect,” […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Diego de Gardoqui, the Basque Friend of the American Revolution

The American Revolutionary War was successful in great part due to the aid of many other nations. We are all familiar with the role that France, particularly Lafayette, played in the war, providing both support and, in Lafayette’s particular case, leading troops into battle. However, other countries also provided critical support, including Spain. And one […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Today is Aberri Eguna, or Basque Fatherland Day

Aberri Eguna On! Happy Aberri Eguna! Aberri Eguna, coinciding with Easter every year, is a celebration of the Basque Country. It has always had a political aspect, with events organized by the various Basque nationalist parties. However, it has also always had a cultural aspect, which has been more emphasized in Basque communities outside of […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Bermeo, not Bilbao, was Originally the Capital of Bizkaia

Bermeo, a town of about 17,000 on the Bizkaia coast, was founded between 1234 and 1239 by Lope Diaz de Haro. Bermeo was the capital of Bizkaia between 1476 and 1602, at which time Bilbao was made the capital of the province. Bermeo’s history begins in 1051, with the monastery of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe […]

Basque Nuclear

Last week, while visiting the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, for a kick-off meeting for a new project, we visited the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Nuclear Engineering is housed in Etcheverry Hall, clearly named after a Basque. It turns out that Bernard A. Etcheverry was a professor of irrigation and drainage during 1915-1951. […]