Статьи  >  Imagine  >  Basques: Between France and Spain

Basques: Between France and Spain

Автор: 29.04.2020 | Spain, travels
Visiting Spain, probably every tourist at least once heard about an intention of the inhabitants of a successful Barcelona and its neighbouring towns to declare independence. From time to time this topic comes up in international news, dragging attention and overshadowing history of the Basques - another special people in the Pyrenees.

If the Catalans want to exit, it is primarily due to the fact that their region is the richest in the country, earning both from industry and tourism. However, the Basques living in the north are rather different from the Spaniards by mentally and even genetically. They are unique people - a constant source of controversy for the world's geneticists and biologists, since their origin is still under fierce debate. Some scientists, though being not of the Basques descend, claim that inhabitants of the Basque Country are the first people who appeared in Europe. Others say that they are descendants of Africans. Others still vehemently call them the Pyrenees Jews.

Read also: On the catwalk: Spain

The truth, probably, lies somewhere in the middle, so to avoid confusion, it is better to tell about the Basques the facts which are beyond debates, and in due order. Numbering nearly three million today, they are dispersed in the far north of Spain and south-western France, forming an informal state, the so-called autonomous community Basque Country. Remarkably, the people who live there, refer to themselves first as the Basques, and then as the Spanish or the French, they are genetically different from their neighbours. Apart from these, about 15 million people worldwide, mainly in South America, have similar chromosomes and connections in their DNA.BasqueGettyVisions-Of-Our-Land-583358af3df78c6f6ab4cbda.jpgPhoto

The national pride of this ethnic group is "Euskara", the Basque language. It is thanks to mother tongue, that somewhat hemmed on all sides by other nationalities, the Basques managed to survive not only during the Dark Ages, but in the twentieth century, when the Franco regime in Spain strongly fought against all forms of cultural wealth and distinction. By the way, in the twentieth century the Basques became known throughout the world as they were the only ones in Spain who long and fiercely resisted Franco, leading the guerrilla struggle and founded a paramilitary organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA, which fought for the preservation of the people. In general, the Basque Country is very proud, but quite tolerant, its residents have always loved quiet and slow-paced "pre-mountain way of life, being engaged into farming, crafts and enjoying beauty of the surrounding Pyrenees. Thankfully, almost as soon as Franco's regime fell, ETA started negotiations and nowadays no one remembers about terrorist attacks and confrontations in Spain, and the Basques help the Catalans establish good relationship with Madrid, acting as intermediaries.pamplona-san-fermin.jpgPhoto

Today, the Basques live peacefully with their neighbours, content with their own "virtual" country and the rights of broad autonomy for their region, because now no one oppresses nor their language nor mentality. As times change, so does the nature of their activities: a lot of inhabitants of the Basque Country in recent decades moved to big cities - Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria-Gasteiz and got engaged in industry, technology and business. Today, farming and life away from civilization is no longer a core activity for the region. Moreover, after having normalized their relations with both the Spanish and the French, the Basque Country has become an important tourist destination in Europe. Visitors come there not only to see modern and technologically advanced cities with their old areas and Catholic village affecting with their beauty and harmony, inhabited by very pious and quiet people.Photo

The second national pride of the Basques after their language and the main tourist attraction is their national cuisine. According to recent estimates, in the territory of the Basque Country is located the world's most restaurants with Michelin stars, if the number of restaurants is divided into the area occupied by them. Due to the favourable location, the Basques do not deny themselves the opportunities to feast on truffles, seafood, tender meat, vegetables and mushrooms. Cuisine is the second religion, and it certainly deserves a separate article. As a confirmation of our words, at least have a look as the most accessible analytics from which you can see that the Basques spend on food more than residents of any other region of Spain, though far from being the richest, that means that they really enjoy food. Interestingly, the best cooks are men, and they are revered by the people as well as priests or athletes and celebrities glorifying the region. The local chefs have even their own professional community Txoko, where the entrance is forbidden to women.recette-pays-basque-tarte-basquaise-cover.jpgPhoto

It is difficult to say what season is the best time to visit the Basque Country, because the mild climate makes this land incredibly pleasant for examination in any season, especially since each of them is beautiful in its own way and is rich when it comes to the food. The Spanish part of the Basque Country has three airports, and rail links to other parts of the country are perfectly adjusted, so it is a crime not to visit the region. Mostly due to bitter struggle with the capital authorities in the last century, Bilbao and San Sebastian are not so much popular and advertised as Barcelona or Valencia, but the Spaniards and the Basques have long ago found a common language with neighbours and forgotten past offences, so now they can visit each other's homes. The foreigners are welcome to explore this country and its interesting and proud inhabitants. And, of course, we have to confess, to explore and enjoy local food!

Interesting Facts:

The Basques have their own Santa Claus, his name is Olentzero. This cute old man does not live at the North Pole, but somewhere in the local mountains, and he brings gifts to children and adults on Christmas Day. Olentzero likes milk and wine, and these gifts are usually left for him at threshold by parents.

The main football team of the region is Athletic from Bilbao. Even in modern times, when football became international, and each team has athletes from around the world, the "athletics" continue to form its team only from the local guys. At the same time their club shows a very decent results both in the Spanish league and in European competition.

Basque Country boasts a variety of cultural and tourist attractions, but one of them is especially significant – it is Vizcaya Bridge, or as it is called "transporter bridge" across the River Nervión. It was even listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, since the work of the mechanism deserve true admiration.

Cover photo

Вам это будет интересно:
Shy Hannover
What kind of city is the small Hannover, lacking the high profile of its German brothers top-popular among tourists? Hannover has repeatedly changed its outfits and its look, but preserved a piece from each era of its experience, without losing its identity and integrity.
Gadames: The colorful area of the most famous desert
Fifty-degree Sahara is one of the most famous places on the planet, the biggest part of which is not absolutely suitable for life. However, today we would like to arrive in the sands to see the incredible city Gadames. During the thousands years its citizens have been living out in the environment of the heat, but this place has given the desirable accommodation for everyone in need.
Innsbruck: Fabulous city framed by the Alps
Austria Tyrol area is very distinctive. It has its unique cuisine, and even its own style of singing. Here the centuries-old history is perfectly coupled with natural beauty and sport facilities. Top of diversity manifestation is small mountain town of Innsbruck. It is the administrative centre of Tyrol, as well as one of the cleanest places in Europe, popular sports resort and a world-famous centre of contemporary art.
From the screen to reality and back: places where famous movies were shot
How many kinds of tourism are there? Gastro, ecotourism, shopping — there are probably as many varieties of them as travelers themselves — everyone choose what they want. Today we talk about people visiting places that have become locations for shoting famous movies.
"In vino veritas": world’s 5 most unusual vineyards
It has been known since olden times that wine-making process is a true art that is within the power only of the ones sincerely in love with their trade. Let alone beauty of masterpieces created by skillful hands – grape gardens, scattered in various nooks of the world, that impress with grandeur and adorn this planet, ornamenting it with bright juicy colors.
Dinning out with the twist: World most off-beat restaurants
Marketing gurus and restaurateurs are enterprising and ready to do anything to increase flow of visitors to their food courts. Quite often, their methods of "flirting" with the public are the same, interior designs and menus are not much different. So, we have collated for you the world’s wackiest, weirdest, out-of-this-world dining establishments.
Spain: There’s no coming clean out of wine
Two “armies” on the warpath are dressed in traditional uniforms – white shirts – look at each other menacingly, their weapons standby… The fight begins and the whiteness of outfits gets mixed with maroon – thanks God, it isn’t blood but nice Spanish wine! Today in one of Spanish provinces annual Battle of Wine is held.
Kagoshima: City with kamikaze fame
Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius!, Nietzsche exclaimed in a prophetic ecstasy. Gloomy pathos of the philosopher could be hardly understood by the residents of the Japanese city of Kagoshima, located at the bottom of the caldera Aira resulting from the explosion about 22 thousand years ago. Farmers were hoeing edges of the hollow from the Bronze Age, as usual fending off the ashes scattered in the air.
Borders cannot make harm: The most famous enclaves of the world
Today OUTLOOK travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.
Guatemala: Maya Spirits Say Hello
A country where there are more tourists in ancient cities than in modern ones. It is a mystic Mesoamerican locality famous for being a motherland of Maya civilization – Guatemala. Let’s have a walk around one of its ancient settlements lost in impassable jungles – around Tikal. Should you listen carefully, you can hear voices of spirits there…
Cambodia: Floating police, dolphins in rivers and Angkor Wat
The Kingdom of Cambodiais the officialmodern-day name of the country in the southeast of Asia (Indochina). This destination is a great tourist alternative tomore glorious Asian kingdom of Thailand. Cambodia is betterat least because it is not mainstream. The Kingdom of Cambodia is not quite a fairy-tale, although it is very exciting...
Let flowers bloom! Top flower festivals in the world!
The best gift for ladies is flowers. The truth is, it is incredibly romantic and beautiful, suitable for any age and status. Especially nice it is when there is plenty of flowers. Dozens upon dozens! And where else can you admire floral beauty if not at the festival? We selected five the most famous and flowery fests from around the world.
Algeria – Bright Bird of Maghreb
Unusual monument to the Queen of Africa and French charm, hanging pedestrian bridges over an abyss and Sahara Desert, source of boiling mineral water and Byzantium-time ruins – all of these can be brought together in only one country of the world and this country is Algeria. Arabian saying goes: Maghreb is a bird with Algeria being its body, Tunisia – its right wing and its left one is Morocco.
Mayan megaliths: the sun if the third age
Mexican jungle hides Mayan Megaliths in Palenque from prying eyes. The Temple of the Inscriptions, the Tomb of the Red Queen, the Pyramid of Skulls - these names would remind the funeral cult to archaeologists. Some people believe that the elixir of immortality is concealed somewhere behind the debris of the Mayan civilization.
Costa Rica: reasons to be happy
In a search of a perfect destination one could base on different principles. Being guided by the desire to see the life of exhilarating people, you should go to Costa Rica. This country is the leader according to the international happiness statistics The Happy Planet Index.
Berlin zest
Local residents distinguish tourists at a glance by their heads spinning non-stop towards all directions. There are spots where it is just worth doing. This is Berlin, a city changing day by day, every next generation brings something new, and not only debris of the famous Berlin Wall, but also all other ordinary walls keep disappearing stone by stone. The German capital is altering. It should be explored peering at every little detail, since in addition to architectural "crowns" and inexhaustible wall art, you can notice some inconspicuous "birthmarks" of the city.
Stellenbosch: The wine capital of Africa
OUTLOOK keeps introducing you to the most beautiful and unique cities of our planet. Today we will tell you about Stellenbosch located on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. This town is considered the continent’s premier address for wine production.
Golden Land of Solomon
Solomon Islands at the beginning of their settlement had a reputation of being far from the most welcoming place. And if the Florentines can warn about their craftiness, archipelago innocently enough stretches to the far distance of 1500 kilometres and excited the curiosity of generations of travellers with its specific location and legends of Eldorado gold.
The sun under the glass. Best greenhouses in the world
For 1 month spring has been reining our planet, now just watch warm coats to change for thin jackets, cold and mediocrity for the bright sun. And, of course, what sort of spring it could be without green trees and beautiful flowers? Well, in order to make your expectation of long-awaited colours and flavours less agonizing, we offer you to enjoy the beauty that year-round marvels visitors to the most exciting indoor gardens.
10 facts about Cuba
Iron and charismatic Fidel, great rum and famous cigars – this is probably the minimum set of every person’s knowledge on this planet about Cuba. We suggest we don’t limit ourselves to it because the famous Liberty Island is a truly interesting and unusual country that deserves attention. Our selection of curious facts about it is a nice opportunity to get to know it better.
Outlook facebook page