This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We’ve spoken on many occasions about the profound mark the Basques have left on the Atlantic coast of North America.  The presence of fishermen and whalers since at least the start of the 16th century in Newfoundland and Labrador left an important impression, which is now a fundamental part of Canadian history.

Tombstones of Basque sailors found in Placentia, Canada ( © Christopher Newhook)
Tombstones of Basque sailors found in Placentia, Canada ( © Christopher Newhook)

On the island of Newfoundland, there’s a small town that we’ve spoken of before: Placentia.  It’s a place that still preserves the name Basque sailors gave it almost five centuries ago when they were hunting whales in that part of the world, just as it preserves the tombstones of the Basque sailors who died over there.  Basque Domingo de Luca, left a will in 1563 saying “bury my body in that port at Plazençia, in that place where those who die here are usually buried”.

On June 21, 2017, the mayor of the Biscayne town of Plentzia, who had who had traveled to Canada along with two councilmen, signed, alongside the mayor of Placentia, the act that would make these two cities sister cities.

The Telegram announced this news a few days ago.  Over the past few days, the mayor of the Canadian town and one of the councilmen of the Biscayne town have shared some photos of the visit and of the signing.  Also, on the Placentia city’s website, we can find a press release talking about the signing and the sistering.  

The Telegram – 16/6/2017 – Canadá

Newfoundland and Spanish towns to become sister municipalities

A centuries old historical connection between Spain and Newfoundland will grow next week when the town of Placentia and town of Plentzia become sister municipalities. Over four days, the mayor of the Province of Biscay town, located in Spain’s Basque Country, along with members of the town’s council will visit Placentia, culminating with a ceremony next Wednesday at the Placentia Bay Cultural Arts Centre to recognize their shared history.

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Placentia – 16/6/2017 – Canadá

Placentia and Plentzia to Become Sister Municipalities

The Town of Placentia will host a delegation from the City of Plentzia, Province of Biscay, Basque Country, Spain next week as both municipalities continue to explore their historical connections.

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Cbncompass – 22/6/2017 – Canadá

Placentia signs MOU with Spanish town Plentzia

Hermanamiento Plentzia Placentia

On Wednesday, June 21, Plentzia Mayor David Crestelo joined his counterpart in Placentia, Mayor Wayne Power Jr., to sign a memorandum of understanding. The deal encourages the two coastal communities to promote their shared history and explore the potential to co-operate on matters related to education, economic development, tourism, fine arts and culture.

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Last Updated on Dec 20, 2020 by About Basque Country

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