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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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. […]
In 1991, I traveled, for the first time, to the Basque Country. Though my dad was born there, and my mom’s grandparents as well, we’d never made a family trek as it simply was beyond our resources. My dad himself only went back a handful of times during the first 30 years he was in […]
Roughly about 20 years ago, during my second visit to the Basque Country, a friend of mine, Xabier Ormaetxea, who has been a frequent contributor to these pages particularly with the Basque surname research he used to do for visitors, took me to Butron Castle (Butroi in Basque). Not far from Bilbao, in the heart of […]
I’m a man of simple tastes, seemingly from a long line of Uberuagas with similar levels of refinement. My dad would rather make sure he get his dollar’s worth at an all-you-can-eat buffet. And when I took my aunts, who grew up in rural Bizkaia, to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and I asked them what […]
In his blog, Ricardo Ibarra posted an infographic taken from El Correo that shows the breakdown of the last elections by region within the Basque Autonomous Community, an image shamelessly stolen from him and reposted here (click on the image for a bigger version). It is interesting to see how things break down. Gipuzkoa went […]