Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

The first cartographic atlas of the Basque Country

  • By Ramón Oleaga and Jose Mari Esparza, the Imago Vasconiae collection contains 300 maps that can be accessed on the Internet. The authors have created an indispensable tool to illustrate the evolution of the history of the Basque Country and "have original material for research".
Ezker-eskuin: Joseba Agirreazkuenaga hitzaurrearen egilea, María Jesús Etxaniz Laboral Kutxako ordezkaria, eta Ramon Oleaga eta Jose Mari Esparza egileak. Argazkia: Txalaparta.,

19 April 2024 - 08:57
Last updated: 10:52

Every country has its own cartographic atlas, and now also Basque Country. Imago Vasconiae was introduced on Thursday at Laboral Kutxa’s headquarters in Bilbao. Basque Country: work atlas of historical cartography.

What was presented in Bilbao is not just any book, nor a "common work": "A scientific and cultural infrastructure"

Written by the writer José Mari Esparza and the researcher Ramón Oleaga, and edited with the help of the editorial Txalaparta and thanks to the funding of Laboral Kutxa, the atlas collects 300 maps of the history of Euskal Herria, which in addition to representing the territory "represents us", the authors explain.

Because what is presented in Bilbao is not any book, nor "a current work", as explained in his presentation by the professor of the UPV/EHU Joseba Agirreazkuenaga, author of the prologue: "A scientific and cultural infrastructure", said the historian. Thus, the authors have made available original material for research through their experience in the mapping environment and their "critical knowledge".

Detail of a map made in Berlin in 1821 showing the scope of the Basques.

Imago Vasconiae is the result of many years and hours of work, a result of the passion of both authors for cartography. They have analyzed library catalogues, museum collections and other publications, and have made a detailed selection between 800 plans and the corpus of the map. Thus, each map provides its explanation, authorship, date and historical context in four languages: Basque, Spanish, French and English.

"A work that encompasses the Basque Country as a whole was missing"

Esparza and Oleaga are proud that the first cartographic atlas of a town is not presented every day. For Oleaga it was something "necessary": "In the field of historical cartography, provisional catalogs have been published in our country, as explained by the researcher, but one piece that encompasses the Basque Country as a whole was missing". Esparza, meanwhile, explains that the atlas will help "understand the evolution of Vasconia in the Histo".

Maps of all kinds appear on the atlas, from the so-called "Map of the Goat", made in stone 13.660 years ago and the oldest in Western Europe, where it was found in 1993, to the present day. Among them are the geological maps, the world map in which the word "Wasconia" appears, the map of the peoples of Europe and the maps on the understanding of the Basque Country, as the one published by ARGIA in 2017 in the framework of the "Egia Model".

The map of Abantzu, made in stone over 13,000 years ago, is the first to incorporate the atlas.

The Atlas has been edited on paper, with a bag of 440 pages and an edition of 1,000 copies, each at 250 euros. However, those who want to check the maps can do so via the web


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