Tag Archives: bizkaia

Basque Fact of the Week: The Quality of the Basque Government is High

For about a decade now, the Quality of Government Institute, at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, has been evaluating the quality of government of the various regions in Europe. By measuring impartiality, corruption, and quality, they generate a so-called European Quality of Government Index (EQI), a number that describes the overall quality of government […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Peppers

I hate peppers. They smell nasty when they are cooking and they taste vile. My dad had literally hundreds of pepper plants in his garden. He would always give me a hard time when I ate his homemade chorizo, which I loved, saying how could I like those when they had peppers in them? When […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Prince of Wales Nearly Became the Lord of Bizkaia

Looking back at the history of Europe, it is amazing how what we view today as solid political borders and national identities often grew out of random happenstance. If Joan of England had made it to Castile to wed Peter the Cruel, instead of succumbing to the Black Death at the age of fourteen, how […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Julio Eiguren, the Basque-American Spy

As so strongly depicted in “Fighting Basques,” an initiative by the Sancho de Beurko Association, Basque-Americans have always played an important role in the armed services of the United States. They served in all branches of the military and served their country, often the adopted country of their immigrant parents, with honor and distinction. However, […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Old Basque Documents in the Americas

The Basques, in their never-ending quest for new fishing and whaling grounds, pushed ever west, encountering Iceland, Greenland, and ultimately what would become Canada. At the same time, they were a large part of the Spanish conquistadors that pushed through South and Central America. It thus should come as no surprise that some of the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Tree of Gernika

The Tree of Gernika is one of the most iconic symbols of the Basque Country, featuring prominently on the coats-of-arms of the province of Bizkaia and thus of Euskal Herria. The fueros of Bizkaia specifically call out the tree as the place where people came to meet and any Bizkaian captured for any crime had […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Simón Bolívar, the Liberator, had Roots in Bizkaia

Known as the Liberator, Simón Bolívar is a national hero to many South American countries. Under his leadership, Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama gained their independence from Spain. He also became president of what was then called Grand Columbia, encompassing the modern countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador. Inspired by the American […]

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 […]

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. […]