For those of you who may be lucky enough to get to visit the Basque Country sometime, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite places with you.

Albaola, The Sea Factory of the Basques in Pasaia, Gipuzkoa, is an institution dedicated to preserving Basque seafaring technology. It is a living history site in which nautical craftsmanship and technology is showcased.  The site itself includes a boatbuilding school, seamanship school, ship modeling workshop, young sailors’s club, and a “Theatre of the Sea” performing arts program. For anyone interested in maritime history and technology, and specifically in basque contributions to shipbuilding design and technology, this is a must see place.

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Albaola, the Sea Factory of Basques, Pasaia, Gipuzkoa. The dredger “Jaizkibel” is on the right. Photo by Euskaldunaa, via Wikimedia Commons

Basque maritime history, and in particular the Basque contribution to the opening up the Pacific Ocean, is explored in Basque Explorers in the Pacific Ocean by William A. Douglass. In the work, Douglass emphasizes the fact that it was not just Basques themselves, but Basque maritime technology and Basque ships that were at the forefront of this exploration.