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The personality of the Basque Country today is fruit of its past history down the centuries.

The first known inhabitants of the Basque Country date from the Lower Palaeolithic, approximately 200,000 years ago. 

The Romans stayed in the Basque Country until the fall of their Empire, although their presence was never massive. 
On the disappearance of the Romans, it was the Vascons which dominated the territory, although in permanent struggle with peoples from Europe.

The Kingdom of  Navarre, was created to stop the expansion by the Franks and the Muslims. This kingdom extended from the Pyrenees to the south of the Basque Country and included the current continental Navarre (Nafarroa Beherea or Lower Navarre).

In 1515, Fernando The Catholic, king of Spain, conquered Upper (peninsular) Navarre and placed it under the crown of Castille.

From these dates on the destiny of the Basque Country was inexorably linked to France and Spain.

Despite interminable political and military conflicts, The Middle Ages was a period rich in developments in the Basque Country.

After the French Revolution (1789), the Basque provinces lying to the north of the Pyrenees were abolished and substituted by departments (90 throughout the Republic).

The Carlist Wars were fought in the South Basque Country throughout the XIX century. This was when the fueros here were lost. The monarchy succeeded the Carlist Wars, the Spanish Republic and the Civil War.

En 1981 the Basque Government was created, on Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa approving the Gernika Statute of Autonomy.
Navarre was destined to have its own government and parliament.

The Basques of the diaspora, for their part, continue to have close links with the Basque Country.

The number of Basques or descendants of Basque in the diaspora  (10 million) is much greater than the number of inhabitants of the Basque Country.

So you think you know the Basque Country?

Iparraldea XXIProduced on the initiative of the Basque Cultural Institute, the documentary "Iparraldea XXI" shows the opposite of the usual cliché images of the Northern Basque Country (French Basque Country), plunging you into the contemporary cultural reality of this territory. See full documentary

Basque worlds: online exhibition

Basque Worlds

44 videos | 120 photos | 40 sounds