pays-basque

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This is the bucolic shrine - and its stunning dome - devoted to Saint Gregory of Ostia in Sorlada. It’s one of the baroque jewels of Euskal Herria and said to guard the saint’s relics.

From 16th-19th centuries, Saint Gregory enjoyed a huge devotion since, according to the Catholic Church, he’s the patron saint of fields and harvests.

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What comes to mind when you think of Spain? The cities of Barcelona and Madrid? Running of the bulls or tomato throwing (La Tomatina) festivals?

If you look at a map, Spain itself is quite extensive; it’s the second largest country in Europe. In saying that, you can imagine that there is just so much to see in such a large country.

Today, I’m going to share some photos of an area of North-Western Spain called the “Basque country” (Pays Basque / Pais Vasco [FR/ES]).

The history of the Basque country is so old, that the language itself cannot be traced back or connected to any modern day or any dormant/extinct languages; thus, the Basque language (Euskara) is considered an isolated language, leaving linguistic researchers baffled and confused. Some research has revealed the the roots of the language have been around for as long as 20,000 years and almost 1 million people still speak it until this day.

A majority of the Basque population has type O- blood and their genes have been heavily linked to the Neanderthals.

The Basque country is divided into seven provinces or more formerly known as “administrative districts”. Four of them are in Spain and the other three are in South-Western France, bordering Spain.

I’m proud to have strong family roots to this mystical land and hope to soon explore more of the gems it has to offer!

flickr

Slytherin by Dave
Via Flickr