Biscay

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**Etymology and Names:**
– ‘Bizkaia’ is a cognate of ‘bizkar’ meaning low ridge or prominence.
– ‘Bizkaia’ is the official name used on official documents and media in Spanish in the Basque Country.
– ‘Vizcaya’ is the name in Spanish language recommended by the Royal Spanish Academy.
– ‘Vizcaya’ is an alternative name for the province.

**History:**
– Biscay inhabited since the Middle Paleolithic with surviving Basque language and traditions.
– Biscay became a major commercial and industrial area in the modern age.
– Rapid industrialization in the 19th and 20th centuries due to iron ore abundance.
– Biscay’s history intertwined with Basque Country in the Middle Ages.

**Prehistoric Periods:**
– Middle Paleolithic period saw Neanderthal dwellings in Biscay.
– Various cultures like Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian present in Biscay.
– Neolithic contact in Basque Country dated to the 4th millennium BCE.
– Megalithism became common for burials in Biscay.

**Modern Developments:**
– Bilbao important for commerce in modern age.
– Discovery of iron resources in Biscay in 1850s led to industrialization.
– Biscay supported Republicans in Spanish Civil War.
– Democracy restored in Spain after Franco’s death in 1975.

**Geography and Administration:**
– Biscay bordered by Cantabria, Burgos, Gipuzkoa, Álava, and Cantabrian Sea.
– Average high temperatures in Bilbao range from 13°C in January to 26°C in August.
– Biscay historically divided into merindades and modernly into seven comarcas or regions.
– Juntas Generales is the unicameral assembly with normative authority in Biscay.

Biscay (Wikipedia)

Biscay (/ˈbɪsk, ˈbɪski/ BISK-ay, BISK-ee; Basque: Bizkaia [bis̻kai.a]; Spanish: Vizcaya [biθˈkaʝa]) is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lordship of Biscay, lying on the south shore of the eponymous bay. The capital and largest city is Bilbao.

Biscay
Bizkaia (Basque)
Vizcaya (Spanish)
Historical Territory of Biscay
Flag of Biscay
Coat-of-arms of Biscay
Coordinates: 43°15′N 2°59′W / 43.250°N 2.983°W / 43.250; -2.983
CountrySpain
Autonomous communityBasque Country
CapitalBilbao
Government
 • Deputy GeneralElixabete Etxanobe (PNV)
Area
 • Total2,217 km2 (856 sq mi)
Population
 (2018)
 • Total1,149,628
 • Density520/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
 • Ranked
9
 • Percent
2.47%
DemonymsBiscayne, Biscayan, bizkaitar(ra), vizcaíno/a
Official languagesBasque • Spanish
ParliamentJuntas Generales
Congress seats8
Senate seats4
Juntas Generales de Vizcaya51
WebsiteDiputación Foral de Vizcaya
1.^ Complete official names: Bizkaiko Lurralde Historikoa (Basque) and Territorio Histórico de Bizkaia (Spanish)

Biscay is one of the most renowned and prosperous provinces of Spain, historically a major trading hub in the Atlantic Ocean since medieval times and, later on, one of the largest industrial and financial centers of the Iberian peninsula. Since the extensive deindustrialization that took place throughout the 1970s, the economy has come to rely more on the services sector.

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