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:
History of the street: Las Ramblas
The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is not only a resort area, but historically rich city with its own unique style, lively atmosphere and southern temper. Probably every visitor is sure to enjoy a leisurely promenade on Las Ramblas - a broad pedestrian boulevard, which is our topic today.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Salamanca: Crazy about the frog
Spain is lavish in architecturally rich cities. But there are special among them: the ones where monuments of the past and daily life of contemporaries are intertwined so tightly and unexpectedly at times that the city seems to be living in two worlds. Today OUTLOOK suggests you enjoy one of them – Salamanca: the city where frog brings all kinds of luck.
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...
Flamenco: guitar crying and fierce stomping
What most people know about flamenco, is that this dance is manifestation of neither love and affection, nor entertainment and revelry fun. Fiery expressive flamenco is reflection of suffering and pain of an individual within nation, always persecuted and deprived of home. The dance itself, which has become a global symbol of Spain, is not only its national heritage...
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.
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.
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.
Montserrat: Visiting Angels
Should we have a look at notes of those who plan their trips to Spain, next to the darling of all hearts, Barcelona, Montserrat is bound to rank second. Also, the mountain of the abbey is a must-visit spot for local dwellers, too – they believe it necessary to visit Catalonia’s religious heart at least once a year.
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.
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.
UNESCO protected: Your breath is taken away here
Majestic and beautiful, contradictory and frightening ... The UNESCO World Heritage List includes into their ranks important works of culture, history, or objects of environmental importance. According to UNESCO rules, a heritage site must be a masterpiece and be of value to a specific era, contain information about unique traditions, reminisce about historical events, or include the habitat of rare species.
Cities in Rrocks: Spanish Edition
To build a settlement on flatland - is this such a hard trick to pull off? A completely different story is when land is self-willed and rock-ribbed both directly and metaphorically speaking. People have been trying to master land and have own say in in-rock urban development for centuries. But only those who succeded in finding common ground with Earth managed to create true novels in stone.
Pleasurable vacation of places to relax in peace and quiet
Summer is up to come very soon which means that it is time to plan a vacation, pack your bags and make up a list of must visit destinations. We understand that in a busy city it is hard to find a place where absolute silence reigns. It is natural for all humans to search for tranquillity sometimes. If you are one of these people, then breath out with relief.
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.
Postcards from Montenegro
Resale activist and entrepreneur Mariana Buialo and her father, a design engineer Viktor, brought unique impressions and hundreds of photos from a spontaneous but very inspiring trip to Montenegro. They gladly shared these photos with OUTLOOK, and we, in turn, share them with you.
On the catwalk: Spain
Spanish clothes aren’t limited to high-quality low-price mass-market. Stuff from this country has easily found ready sale around the world for several centuries already. And it makes sense because everything began with national outfit that “infected” the whole Europe with its exceptional beauty and fancy and still amazes people nowadays.
Outlook facebook page