Basque Country in Spain
The Spanish Basque Country Autonomous Community comprises a total of three provinces. The area is located in the region of the Atlantic coast and borders on France. Time and again there are tensions in the Basque Country. The extent of the territory is still not entirely undisputed, both in politics. So again and again representatives of nationalism from the French, Basque and Spanish Space to each other. Again and again there are disputes about who belongs to Navarre.
Naming the Basque Country
The Basque Country got its name from its Basque people. The name of the region is Euskaldunak.
Landscapes of the Basque Country
The Basque Country region borders the Cantabrian Sea and the Ebro. The Ebro lowlands are relatively sparsely populated. From a landscape point of view, the area of today’s Basque Country consists mainly of mountains. Because the foothills of the Pyrenees can be found here as well as the Cantabrian Mountains. The “Table of the Three Kings” is the highest point in the Basque Country. Its total height is 2,444 meters. The second highest mountain is the Orhi with a height of 2,007 meters.
In the valleys in between, many cities were built under the protection of the mountains. The numerous cities in the outer area are mostly industrial and have an old town center.
The Spanish autonomous communities of Cantabria and Castile-León as well as Aragon and La Rioja are the direct neighbors of the Basque Country.
The hot summers of the Ebro Basin are offset by the year-round mild climate in the rest of the region.
The History of the Basque Country
Archaeologists discovered a human skeleton dating from around 7,000 BC. Should come from BC. Today we know that around 3,500 BC The Neolithic era began in the region of what is now the Basque Country. In the early Bronze Age around 2,000 BC The area experienced an upswing through metal processing. 900 BC The era of the Celts began, who invaded the country. They preferred the Mediterranean climate here and settled in large numbers.
In the 2nd century the area became a Roman province z. But already in the 3rd-5th In the 19th century, a crisis broke out between the Roman occupation and the Basque population, which led to a rural uprising. The Christianization began in the 4th century, but was only in the late Middle Ages finished completely.
The English succeeded in doing this in the middle of the 12th century to usurp the rule. As early as the 13th and 14th centuries, important trade routes were built in the Basque coastal region. The sea route and the favorable location were used for an economic upswing. Unfortunately, there was a very serious economic crisis in the 15th century, which affected the entire population.
As early as the 16th century, the Basque Country was able to recover slightly economically and things were looking up again. In addition to the extraction of iron ore, deep-sea fishing was possible catch up. The central governments and France began restricting the freedoms of the Basque Country in the 17th and 18th centuries. This led to some popular uprisings. There followed numerous civil wars and times that were characterized by economic upswing and decline.
The value of tourism was recognized early on. The first cities on the Way of St. James were built in 1090 in order to benefit from passing pilgrims. Today the Basque Country is an industrial, economic and tourist location.
Basque Country Geography
The Basque Country is an autonomous community in the Kingdom of Spain, made up of the three provinces of Gipuzkoa, Biscay and Alava. The Autonomous Community of the Basque Country is not synonymous with the cultural region of the same name, which in turn includes the Autonomous Communities of Basque Country and Navarre and part of France. The Basque Country is bordered in the north by the Cantabrian Sea or the Bay of Biscay and in the south by the Ebro.
The total area of the Basque Country is around 7,235 square kilometers and occupies about 1.5% of the total land area of Spain. The capital of the Basque Country is Vitoria (Gasteiz). The Basque Country extends between the upper valley of the Ebro in the south to the Bay of Biscay in the north. In the west it extends from the foothills of the Pyrenees and to the east to the Cantabrian Mountains. In addition to the capital Vitoria, the Basque Country also includes the cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian, making this area one of the most densely populated regions in Spain.
The Atlantic coast is characterized alternately by strongly jagged rock cliffs and sandy beaches. The rocks around the estuaries are particularly bizarre. The Rio Bidasoa near Hondarribia, the Rio Urumea near San Sebastian, the Deba near the city of Deba, the Rio Oka near Gernika and the Rio Nervion near Bilbao all flow into the Atlantic. The foothills of individual mountains almost reach the coast, while the interior of the Basque Country is characterized by low mountain ranges. The Aitxuri in the Aizkorri massif is the highest mountain in the Basque Country at 1,551 meters. Monte Gorbeia, located between Bilbao and Vitoria, is not far behind at 1,482 meters.
Much of the Basque Country is used for agriculture. Rape and beets are predominantly grown and the fertile meadows enable profitable sheep and cattle breeding. The extensive forests of the region are covered with oak, chestnut, eucalyptus, beech and pine. Industry settled mainly on the rivers, as their water is used both as a transport route and for energy generation.