Spain: The coins of Guernica

Started by Figleaf, May 17, 2009, 11:55:51 PM

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BC Numismatics

Martin,
  When people think of cities & towns in the Basque Country,they usually think of Bilbao,which was often subjected to terrorist attacks from Herri Batasuna/E.T.A. until fairly recently.

Aidan.

chrisild

Quote from: translateltd on May 22, 2009, 06:06:49 AM
From a purely linguistic perspective, it would appear that Basque, Biscay, Viscaya/Vizcaya and the "Eusk/Euzk" of the concocted word "Euzkadi" all have a common origin
(...)
QuoteOf course, what happens in the reality of history, geography and politics is an entirely different matter!

Agreed, and agreed. :)  As for why Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of the region (and not Bilbao), well, oddly enough in Spain that is not determined by how good or bad the local football team is. Or else the federal government would have to constantly move back and forth between Madrid and Barcelona ...

However, there was a reason why this city was "picked". From what I have read about this, Bilbao has always had a strong "Basque identity" anyway, while Vitoria-Gasteiz and the province of Álava may have opted for becoming part of a different region. Making it the capital sure helped. :)

Christian

chrisild

Quote from: BC Numismatics on May 22, 2009, 11:27:51 AM
When people think of cities & towns in the Basque Country,they usually think of Bilbao

Sure, Bilbao is the biggest city in the Basque autonomous region, but there are many countries/states in this world where the most populous city is not the capital. As for the Basque Country, maybe Pamplona should have been picked. (Nah wait, they wanted to have their own autonomous region. Bummer.) Donostia-San Sebastián would be neat as well - fairly big city, nice place to stay, and on the sea. :)

Christian

izotz

Quote from: translateltd on May 22, 2009, 11:20:29 AM
So having a famous football team *isn't* the only criterion for being the capital city then, as your earlier posting about Bilbao seems to suggest?

That's it. Much more important is to have a good basketball team. That is why Vitoria is the capital of the Basque country. In fact, Baskonia (Tau Vitoria team) defeated Iurbentia Bilbao in the quarter finals of the Spanish league. OK, I must admit we are bad rivals :D

It is quite true that Bilbao is a bigger town, but Vitoria is the capital, I suppose it was a matter of politics. One of the reasons they say, is that although Bilbao was the biggest, San Sebastián had a great importance too, and it was quite disputed. In order not to support one or another... well, Vitoria got the prize.

I can't still see that about the Viscayan Republic. But again, it seems to be a complicated historical and politics matter.

Even in the origin of the word:

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizkaia

QuoteEl término Vizcaya tiene una etimología discutida. Para algunos significa cima, y sería un sinónimo de la actual palabra vasca bizkar (loma). En el año 1141 en referencia a la cima del monte Igueldo de San Sebastián, aparece inscrito el siguiente topónimo: Iheldo Bizchaya (cima de Igeldo); también en Navarra, hay una comarca denominada "La Vizcaya", que puede significar "La cima". Se han propuesto también otras etimologías, como bits-kaia (puerto de espuma), menos probables.

"Vizcaya" etymology is disputed. To some, it means "top", and it may be a synonim for nowadays basque word "bizkar" (hill)...

translateltd

Quote from: izotz on May 22, 2009, 01:34:34 PM

It is quite true that Bilbao is a bigger town, but Vitoria is the capital, I suppose it was a matter of politics. One of the reasons they say, is that although Bilbao was the biggest, San Sebastián had a great importance too, and it was quite disputed. In order not to support one or another... well, Vitoria got the prize.


A similar thing happened in Australia - in order not to favour Sydney or Melbourne, they built Canberra in the middle of nowhere to be the Federal Capital.


BC Numismatics

Martin,
  Uniquely,South Africa has 3 national capital cities - Cape Town (legislative capital),Bloemfontein (judicial capital),& Pretoria (administrative capital).Interestingly,the Constitutional Court of South Africa is based in none of these 3 cities - but in Johannesburg.

Aidan.