Are the Basques the descendants of the Magdalenians, whose first traces date back to 13,000 to 8,000 BC ?
In 600 BC the Basques held out against the Celts, but the Basque country would later be occupied by the Romans, the Vandals, the Visigoths and the Arabs…
Later, Charlemagne took an interest in the region, though he suffered the massacre of part of his army at the Col de Roncevaux on 15 August 778.
The war conducted by Castille in 1512 finally cut the Basque country in two along the border between Spain and France.
On the French side, three provinces of the total of seven in the Basque country retained their identity: Soule, Lower Navarre and Labourd.
They continued to resist the federative policies of the monarchy and then the Revolution as long as they could.
The Basses-Pyrénées district, which became Pyrénées-Atlantiques in 1970, formed the Aquitaine region along with Dordogne, Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne and Landes. Its administrative centre is Pau, with sub-prefectures in Bayonne and Oloron-Sainte-Marie.