Aside from the Basque County, a region on the border of Spain and France, Boise has the largest Basque population with more than 16,000 people. Starting in the 1800s through the end of the Franco era in Spain, many Basque emigres and immigrants came to Idaho.
When they arrived in Boise, they stayed at boarding houses in downtown Boise, some of which were located on what is today known as the Basque Block. Located downtown between Capitol Boulevard and 6th Street on Grove Street, the block is a place for the Basque community to gather and celebrate its heritage.
“Today, these transnational ties are stronger, which has profoundly influenced the creation of the Basque Block,” Gretchen Louise Hill wrote in a 2012 academic article. “The Basques strive to maintain their heritage landscapes to retain their cultural identity and educate present and future generations about their unique legacy.”