Coat of arms

Location of Berriz within the Basque Country

Coordinates: 43°10′33″N 2°34′32″W / 43.17583°N 2.57556°W / 43.17583; -2.57556
Country Spain
Autonomous community Basque Country
Province Biscay
Comarca Durangaldea
  Mayor Jose Jabier Azpitarte Ariño
  Total 30.07 km2 (11.61 sq mi)
Elevation 192 m (630 ft)
Population (2009)
  Total 4,888
  Density 160/km2 (420/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Berritzarra
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 48240
Website Official website

Berriz (in Basque and officially, in Spanish: Bérriz) is an elizate, town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the Basque Country, northern Spain. Berriz is part of the comarca of Durangaldea and has a population of 4.759 inhabitants as of 2007 and according to the Spanish National Statistics Institute.


Berriz belongs to a series of Basque toponyms with an -iz ending. Julio Caro Baroja defended that most of these toponyms came from an original Basque toponym plus the Latin suffix -icus. Caro Baroja considered that on toponymy, the suffixes -oz, -ez and -iz used to be combined with the name of the owner of the lands, with its origin being in some place between the Middle Ages and the Roman Empire.

In the case of Berriz, Caro Baroja suggested that the name might come from Verrius, the documented Latin name. Then, to the name Verrius it was added the suffix -icus (indicating that the lands were owned by Verrius) and became Verricus[1] From then, the name evolved to Verrici and from there to Verriz. The name of the town in Spanish used to be Vérriz.

Another theory about is origin negates the Latin origin and proposes a Basque origin. Berriz might come from Be(h)e ("under") and Oiz in reference to the Oiz mountain, and then "under Oiz" as of "in the or at the bottom of Oiz".


  1. Caro Baroja, Julio (1945-6). Materiales para una historia de la lengua vasca en su relación con la latina. Acta Salmanticensia, tomo I, número 3. Check date values in: |date= (help)

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