Basque Country

The Basque Country (/bæsk, bɑːsk/; Basque: Euskadi [eus̺kadi]; Spanish: País Vasco [paˈiz ˈβasko]), also called Basque Autonomous Community (Basque: Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa, EAE; Spanish: Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco, CAPV), is an autonomous community of Spain. It includes the provinces (and historical territories) of Álava, Biscay, and Gipuzkoa, located in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, bordering on the autonomous communities of Cantabria, Castile and León, La Rioja, and Navarre, and the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

The Basque Country or Basque Autonomous Community is enshrined as a ‘nationality’ within the Spanish State in its 1979 statute of autonomy, pursuant to the administrative acquis laid out in the 1978 Spanish Constitution. The statute provides the legal framework for the development of the Basque people on Spanish soil. Navarre, which had narrowly rejected a joint statute with Gipuzkoa, Álava and Biscay in 1932, became a full-fledged foral autonomous community in 1982.

Currently there is no official capital in the autonomous community, but the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the province of Álava, is the de facto capital as the location of the Basque Parliament, the headquarters of the Basque Government, and the residence of the President of the Basque Autonomous Community (the Palace of Ajuria Enea). The High Court of Justice of the Basque Country has its headquarters in the city of Bilbao. Whilst Vitoria-Gasteiz is the largest municipality in area, with 277 km2 (107 sq mi), Bilbao is the largest in population, with 353,187 people, located in the province of Biscay within a conurbation of 875,552 people.

The term Basque Country may also refer to the larger cultural region (Basque: Euskal Herria), the home of the Basque people, which includes the autonomous community.

Basque Country Culture

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Basque Country Notable people

Some notable Basque people from this administrative jurisdiction include Francisco de Vitoria, philosopher who set the theories of just war, international law and freedom of commerce; Juan Sebastián Elcano, completed first circumnavigation of the Earth; Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits; Don Juan de Oñate, explorer of the great plains and Colorado river; Blas...

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