Basque Provinces, The (Spanish Provincias Vascongadas), a triangular district extending over 2,958 square miles in the north of Spain, and embracing the three provinces of Biscay, Guipuzcoa, and Alava. In race, language, habits, and political privileges the inhabitants differ considerably from the rest of the Spanish population. Their country, formerly constituting the kingdom of Guipuzcoa, is mountainous, picturesque, and wooded, with rich pastures, and fertile, well-cultivated valleys. It produces cereals, flax, timber, sheep, and cattle, and abounds in iron, tin, copper, marble, etc. The chief towns are Bilbao, St. Sebastian, and Victoria. France has also a Basque element comprised within the arrondissements of Bayonne and Mauleon.