In a move to foster cross-border cultural exchange and cooperation, the Provincial Council of Biscay extends an open invitation to other European cultural communities. The aim is to connect and collaborate on projects that celebrate our shared heritage, encouraging a deeper understanding and appreciation across borders. This gesture underscores the Council's commitment to cross-frontier cooperation, recognizing that the history of routes and networks transcends geographical boundaries, linking us to our continental neighbours.

A Confluence of Perspectives

In anticipation of the European Heritage Days, the Provincial Council has embarked on a comprehensive campaign to engage cultural stakeholders and the general public alike. A series of conferences, spanning January and February, serves as the cornerstone of this initiative. These gatherings are designed not only to foster community engagement but also to offer a platform for academic discourse on the theme.

“Ports, intermodal hubs between land and maritime communications”. Aingeru Zabala

“The memory of roads”. Amaia Basterretxea

“Images in movement: Rock art as a communication network of Palaeolithic societies on the Cantabrian coast”. Diego Garate

“W. Humboldt's route; in search of Basque identity and heritage: culture, language and laws”. Felicitas Lorenzo

“Cultural landscape and maritime architecture in Biscay. An interpretation of the coastal routes in the light of navigation”. Xabier Armendariz

“How roads have shaped the landscape”. Amaia Apraiz.

“Evolution of the speed of traffic on the roads of iron and its consequences”  Juan Manuel Estradé

Experts across various fields are set to explore the historical routes and networks from diverse angles. The lineup of speakers includes Aingeru Zabala on "Ports, intermodal hubs between land and maritime communications", Amaia Basterretxea discussing "The memory of roads", and Diego Garate delving into "Images in movement: Rock art as a communication network of Palaeolithic societies on the Cantabrian coast", among others. Each presentation aims to shed light on different dimensions of how routes have influenced cultural exchange, societal development, and the physical landscape itself.

Reflecting on a Milestone Year

European Heritage Days Biscay 2023
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The enthusiasm surrounding the upcoming European Heritage Days builds on the success of the 2023 edition, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Last year, Biscay witnessed an unprecedented collaboration among over a hundred cultural agents, culminating in a diverse array of 290 events across 70 towns. The theme “Ondarea bizirik, living heritage!” resonated deeply, offering a rich program that included conferences, exhibitions, traditional craft demonstrations, and much more.

This collective effort underscored the importance of preserving and appreciating the intangible cultural heritage that permeates Biscay. The public's enthusiastic participation highlighted a shared commitment to safeguarding traditions, beliefs, and techniques for future generations.

Looking Ahead

As the 2024 European Heritage Days approach, the theme "Heritage of Historic Routes and Networks" invites us to ponder the enduring impact of the paths that have connected people, ideas, and cultures throughout history. The Provincial Council of Biscay's initiative to weave a narrative through academic insight and public engagement sets the stage for a profound exploration of our collective past.

The conversations sparked by this year's theme promise to deepen our understanding of cultural heritage, emphasizing not just the preservation of tangible landmarks but also the intangible threads that bind them to our shared human experience. For more information on the events and how to participate, please visit the dedicated website:

In embracing the heritage of historic routes and networks, we embark on a journey that traverses time and space, connecting us to the legacies that have paved the way for our present and future.