The History of the Basque Country

Basque Country: Bilbao - San Sebastián

Historical Events


Victory in battleVictory in Battle

0778-08-15 Battle of Roncevaux Pass: Roland, commander of the rearguard of Charlemagne's army is defeated by the Basques

Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne
Holy Roman Emperor
Charlemagne
  • 1937-04-26 German Luftwaffe destroys Basque town of Guernica in Spain

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1937-06-19 Francisco Franco's troops conquer the Bilbao Basques

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • 1937-08-24 In the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Army surrenders to the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie following the Santoña Agreement.
  • 1985-06-03 Massive anti-ETA demonstration in Basques
  • 1997-07-10 Spain, Partido Popular member Miguel Ángel Blanco is kidnapped in the Basque city of Ermua by ETA members, sparking widespread protests
  • 2006-03-22 ETA, armed Basque separatist group, declares permanent ceasefire
  • 2009-07-30 A bomb explodes in Palma Nova, Mallorca, killing 2 police officers. Basque separatist group ETA is believed to be responsible.
  • 2018-05-02 Spanish Basque separatist group Eta announces it will be formally disbanding after 50 years
  • 2018-08-15 Bar-hopping for pintxos (Basque tapas) in San Sebastián, Spain, named world's best food experience in Lonely Planet's Ultimate Eatlist

Famous Birthdays

  • 1533-08-07 Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, Basque soldier and poet, born in Madrid (d. 1595)
  • 1719-10-26 Joaquín Martínez de Oxinagas, composer, born in Bilbao, Basque Country (d. 1789)
  • 1854-04-05 Vicente Goicoechea Errasti, Basque composer, born in Ibarra, Álava (d. 1916)
  • 1864-08-05 Resurreccion Maria de Azkue, Basque priest, composer and first head of the Euskaltzaindia, born in Lekeitio, Spain (d. 1951)

Person of interestPío Baroja

1872-12-28 Pío Baroja y Nessi, Spanish Basque writer, author of over 100 novels (The Struggle for Life, Zalacain the Adventurer), born in San Sebastián, Basque Country (d. 1956)

Spanish Writer Pío Baroja
Spanish Writer
Pío Baroja
  • 1886-01-10 Jose Antonio de Donostia, Basque musicologist & composer, born in Donostia/San Sebastián, Spain (d. 1956)
  • 1887-10-05 René Cassin, French jurist and judge (Nobel Peace Prize 1968), born in Bayonne, Basque Country, France (d. 1976)
  • 1890-10-28 Andrés Isasi, Spanish Basque composer, born in Bilbao, Spain (d. 1940)
  • 1904-03-06 José Antonio Aguirre, Basque politician (d. 1960)
  • 1913-08-13 Francisco Escudero, Basque composer, born in San Sebastián, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain (d. 2002)
  • 1914-08-13 Luis Mariano, Basque operetta singer, born in Irun, Spain (d. 1970)
  • 1923-03-09 André Courrèges, French fashion designer, born in Pau, French Basque country (d. 2016)
  • 1946-05-29 Fernando Buesa, Basque politician (d. 2000)
  • 1957-05-15 Juan José Ibarretxe, Basque Lehendakari (Prime Minister)
  • 1965-12-04 Álex de la Iglesia, Spanish film director (As Luck Would Have It), born in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
  • 1968-01-15 Iñaki Urdangarín, Spanish handball player & royal, born in Basque Country, Spain
  • 1981-01-21 Alex Ubago, Spanish-Basque singer-songwriter
  • 1981-09-13 Koldo Fernández, Spanish cyclist, born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, Spain

Famous Deaths

  • 1556-07-31 Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest, theologian and founder of the Society of Jesus, dies in Rome at about 65
  • 1582-03-18 Jean Jaurequi, Basque attacker of William of Orange, killed by William's guards
  • 1595-11-29 Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, Basque soldier and poet, dies at 61
  • 1916-04-09 Vicente Goicoechea Errasti, Basque composer, dies at 62
  • 1940-04-06 Andrés Isasi, Spanish Basque composer, dies at 49

Person of interestPío Baroja

1956-10-30 Pío Baroja y Nessi, Spanish Basque writer, author of over 100 novels (The Struggle for Life, Zalacain the Adventurer), dies at 83

Spanish Writer Pío Baroja
Spanish Writer
Pío Baroja
  • 1960-03-22 José Antonio Aguirre, Basque politician (b. 1904)
  • 2002-06-17 Francisco Escudero, Basque composer, dies at 89
  • 2008-12-01 Mikel Laboa, Basque singer and songwriter (b. 1934)