Guernica, the historical

Gernika-Lumo
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Guernica, the historical
If you are staying in the Basque Country, and more particularly in the heart of the Urdaibai Biosphere, do not hesitate to include a one-day visit to Guernica in your planning. This world-famous city was revealed to everyone by the artist Pablo Picasso, thanks to his monumental work, the original of which is currently on display at the Queen Sofia Museum in Madrid. Besides its horrifying past, the capital of the Basque Country has many tourist attractions.

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Guernica, bombs and a memorable work

April 26, 1937: a historic date

That day, 4 German squadrons sprayed the city with explosive and incendiary bombs for 3 hours, even as the market was taking place. A real disaster. A large part of the city has been destroyed (+/- 70%) and there are thousands of victims.


Guernica These schools served as a refuge on the day of the air raid

The monumental work of Pablo Picasso

That same year, the 1937 Paris Universal Exhibition took place. For its pavilion, the Spanish government placed an order with Picasso. The artist then embarks on a monumental creation as we know it today. He highlights the horror of this episode and inscribes his work as an expression of past or future conflicts.

In town you will find a mural with the representation of the work Guernica (street name: Pedro de ElejaldeKalea, 2 ), go ahead! Observe, look, feel! Benches have been installed to take the time to meditate and to face the emotions that may intervene.


Guernica Reflect, question, think about victims, past or current conflicts

A thematic circuit to understand this day

Guernica has many attractions, and there is a lot to see. And if you are history buff, know that there is a thematic circuit that allows you to go to key places. Informative panels are set up and allow you to learn more about what happened on that famous April 26, 1937.


Guernica The plan of the historical circuit

Guernica Information to better understand what happened

Guernica One of the stages of the historical circuit

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Guernica, historic capital of the Spanish Basque Country

For several centuries, Guernica has been the place where legislative assemblies are held. Since the Middle Ages, representatives have come to take the oath under the Tree of Guernica and meet in the House of Assemblies (Casa de Juntas) to draft laws. It is also here that the autonomy of the Basques was declared. Unfortunately, the original tree no longer exists, and the one on display now was planted in 2015.


Guernica At the entrance of the Casa de Juntas

Guernica The House of Assemblies, a superb neoclassical building and the iconic Tree of Guernica


Nearby, enjoy the green lung of the city and stroll through the heart of the Park of the Peoples of Europe (Parque de los Pueblos de Europa). This large garden has the particularity of being adorned with two large sculptures having a link with the war: one is entitled Gure Aitaren Etxea (the house of our Father) and the other Large figure in a shelter (Large silhouette in shelter).


Guernica

Entrance to the Parque de los pueblos de Europa

Guernica   Guernica

Euska Herria Museum, dedicated to Basque culture, within the park

Guernica

Gure Aitaren Etxea, work by Eduardo Chillida

Guernica

Sculpture by Henry Moore: Large figure in a shelter


In addition to these 3 unmissable places, stroll through the alleys, and discover the city, its pretty buildings and its pretty squares. Soak up the pleasant and light atmosphere that reigns despite this atrocious day.


Guernica   Guernica

Guernica

Guernica   Guernica

      Lose yourself in the alleys and observe the beauty of certain buildings

Guernica  

The church of Santa-Maria, where, looking up, we see a stork nesting!

The weekly market

Every Monday, under the halls, takes place one of the largest markets in the Basque Country. A real place of exchange and meeting, people come from all over the region to sell or buy fresh and local products. On the stalls, you will find everything: fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, plants, etc. The small producers and the big ones come together, and each takes advantage of this moment to advocate the qualities of its products coming straight from the garden or from a cooperative or other.


Guernica   Guernica

There is room for everyone at the Guernica market!

Guernica
A seller of plants, it looks like a plant painting

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The visit of this incredible city ends, but the Basque Country is full of beautiful places, beautiful walks in nature or urban center, which are waiting for you!

Did you like our article? Find others on the Guide du Pays Basque blog. We are also on social networks, come and consult the Facebook page of the Guide du Pays Basque, as well as our Instagram account @guidedupaysbasque


Article and photos prepared by Charline Prod'homme, La Plume Digitale


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