The Basque


It is difficult to consider The Age of Exploration, that period of Portuguese and Spanish discovery during the fifteenth and sixteenth century, without meeting the Basque.  You likely will recognize these names, but perhaps you did not know they were Basque.

Bartolomeu Perestrello    Jao Vaz Corte Real, Gaspar Corte Real, The Pinzons, Vasco Martins Moniz, Tristao Vaz Teixeira, Vasco de Gamma, João Gonçalves Zarco, Juan Sebastian Elcano, Juan de la Casa, Juan de Onate y Salazar  and many others. In fact, so many Basque were associated with Prince Henry the Navigator’s efforts to find the passage around Africa to India that it is hard to imagine a voyage that was not led by Basque captains or masters.

All of Christopher Columbus’ ships were built in Basqueland, now known as the Autonomous Basque Region of Spain. Christopher’s wife and his mistress were both Basque.

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