Famous Basque People Throughout History

  • Period: Jan 1, 1500 to

    Famous Basque People Through History

  • Sep 6, 1522

    Juan Sebastian Elcano

    Juan Sebastian Elcano
    This Basque mariner from Getaria was, along with other seventeen survivors of Magellan's expedition, the first man to circumnavigate the globe. He arrived in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz (Spain) on this date.
  • Jan 1, 1545

    Bernat Etxeparen

    Bernat Etxeparen
    He was born around 1480 in Sarasketa, nowadays French Basque Country. He was a priest and a writer. He wrote the first printed book in the Basque language ever. "Linguae vasconum primitiae" was printed in Bordeaux in 1545.
  • Jun 3, 1568

    Andrés de Urdaneta

    Andrés de Urdaneta
    He was born in Ordizia, Gipuzkoa, in 1508 and he died on 3rd June 1568.
    He was a famous Basque explorer, priest, sailor and cosmographer.
    He discovered the way from the Philippines to America (tornaviaje) across the Pacific Ocean.
    He was Miguel Lopez de Legazpi’s uncle and friend.
  • Catalina de Erauso

    Catalina de Erauso
    Catalina de Erauso was born on an unknown date this year in San Sebastian (Donostia), the Basque Country.
    She died in Cuetlaxtla, Mexico, in 1650.
    She was known as the nun lieutenant. She was a semi-legendary personality of Spain and Spanish America in the first half of the seventeenth century.
    She dressed as a man to be a soldier.
  • Manuel Larramendi

    Manuel Larramendi
    Manuel Larramendi wsas born in Andoain, Gipuzkoa, on 25th December 1690. He died in Azpeitia, Gipuzkoa, on 29th January 1766.
    He was a Jesuit, a philologist, a historian and the main Basque writer of the 18th Century. His dictionary called "Diccionario Trilingüe del Castellano, Bascuence, Latin" was a real landmark in Basque literature, as the first printed dictionary in the Basque language.
  • General Zumalakarregi

    General Zumalakarregi
    Tomas de Zumalakarregi was born in Ormaiztegi, Gipuzkoa on 29th December 1788. He died in Zegama, Gipuzkoa, on 24th June 1835.
    He was a Carlist general during the First Carlist War (1833-1839). He died after being wounded while laying siege to Bilbao.
  • Bilintx

    Basque poet and "bertsolari" Indalezio Bizkarrondo, aka "Bilintx", was born in San Sebastian (Donostia, in Basque). He died there on 21st July 1876 after being injured while defending the city during the Third Carlist War.
  • Jorge Oteiza

    Jorge Oteiza
    He was born in Orio, Gipuzkoa, on 21 October 1908.
    He died in San Sebastian (Donostia), Gipuzkoa, on 9 April 2003.
    He was a sculptor, who was famous for Our Lady of Aranzazu Basilica.
    He won the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts and the Manuel Lekuona Award.
  • Lazkao Txiki

    Lazkao Txiki
    Lazkao Txiki was born on 15th September 1926 in Olaberria, Guipúzcoa. He died in Donostia on 3rd April 1993.
    He was a famous bertsolari (a Basque verse improviser).
    He was very short.
  • Amaia Zubiria

    Amaia Zubiria
    She was born in Zubieta, Donostia (Gipuzkoa) in 1947.
    She is a famous Basque singer.
    She sang many songs both solo and with Txomin Artola and Pascal Gaigne.
  • Bernardo Atxaga

    Bernardo Atxaga
    He was born in Asteasu on 27th July 1951.
    He is a famous Basque writer.
    He wrote many novels in the Basque language (“Obabakoak”, …)..
    His novels have been translated into many different languages.
  • Arkonada

    Luis Miguel Arconada Etxarri was born on 26 June 1954.
    He is a famous Basque goalkeeper.
    He played for Lengokoak and Real Sociedad for nearly 20 professional years. He also played for the Spanish National Team.
    He was known as "El pulpo" (the octopus).
  • Iñaki Perurena

    Iñaki Perurena
    He was born in Leitza (Navarre) in 1956. He is a famous Basque stone lifter. He is also an actor in the TV soap opera ‘Goinkale’. In 1990 he held the world record with 315 Kilos.
  • Joane Somarriba

    Joane Somarriba
    She was born in Gernika on 11 August 1972. She was a famous Basque cyclist. She won three Tours of France (in 2000, 2001 and 2003) and two Giros of Italy (in 1999 and 2000).
  • Edurne Pasaban

    Edurne Pasaban
    Edurne Pasaban Lizarribar was born in Tolosa, Gipuzkoa (Basque Country) on 1st August 1973.
    She is a famous mountaineer. At the moment she is trying to be the first woman to have climbed the fourteen eight-thousand-metre mountains.
  • Eñaut Elorrieta

    Eñaut Elorrieta
    He was born in Gernika in 1975. He is a singer and a guitarist. He is a member of the Basque band "Ken Zazpi" ("Minus Seven" in Basque). Their latest recording was "Argiak" ("Lights"), released on 27th November 2007.
    He is also a physicist.
  • Aitor Mendiluze

    Aitor Mendiluze
    He was born in Andoain on 25th November 1975.
    He is a bertsolaria (he improvises verses in Basque).
    He is a very good "bertsolari" and teacher.
    He is very funny.
  • Maialen Lujanbio

    Maialen Lujanbio
    She was born in Hernani, Gipuzkoa, on 26th November 1976.
    She has a BA degree in Fine Arts. She is famous in the Basque Country as a “bertsolari” (a Basque verse improviser).
    She won different prizes. On 13th December 2009 she won the “Bertsolaritza” Main Championship of the Basque Country. It was the first time that a woman had won it!
  • Xabi Alonso

    Xabi Alonso
    He was born in Tolosa (Basque Country) on 25th November 1981. He is a famous Basque football player.
    Alonso began his career at Real Sociedad, and after a brief loan period at SDHe moved to Real Madrid for the start of the 2009–10 season, in a deal worth around £30 million.
  • Mikel Laboa

    Mikel Laboa
    Basque singer and poet Mikel Laboa died on this day, aged 74. His most popular song, 'Txoria Txori', was even covered by Joan Baez.
    He was born in Pasaia, Gipuzkoa, on 15th June 1934.
    He was one of the Basque Country's most important singer-songwriters.