The Basque Center

Photo by Andrew Hayes

The Basque Center, located at 601 Grove Street, is the cultural hub of the Basque Block in Boise. The Basque Center as its known today was built in 1949 as a gathering place and a social club to maintain and share the heritage of the Boise Basque. To understand the importance of a Basque center to the Basque people one must understand the original purpose of such a gathering place.

In Spain, the Basque culture revolved around the house from which they resided. A village was comprised of a series of houses in a general area. The village would have a gathering place where two representatives from each house would meet at least once a year to discuss and determine what issues needed to be addressed for the following year. One representative would be appointed to represent the village at the Regional gathering.

When the Basque came to the United States they continued the custom of congregating on a regular basis to meet the needs of the people. It was this ideology that developed the modern day Basque Centers in the U.S. These centers continue to support the Basque people today, and have evolved into a place that preserves the Basque heritage. Boise’s Basque Center is a cultural meeting place located on the “Basque Block” which also contains the Basque Museum and Culture Center, the Fronton Building, Gernika Basque Pub and Eatery, the Basque Market, and Leku Ona Basque Restaurant. History 494-1077, Basque in Idaho, Instructor-Xabier Irujo 11/2011