The Gernika top 10
The Tree of Gernika and the Casa de Juntas (Assembly House)
The Casa de Juntas (Assembly House) and the Tree of Gernika are living symbols of the history of the Basque People. The parliamentary home of Vizcaya’s most important institutional body, the General Assembly, stands next to the so-called ‘foral’ (charter) oak tree, a meeting point for all the territories of Euskal Herria, united in a single cultural and ethnographic tradition.
Opening hours: Every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. (except when a plenary session is in progress).
From June to September the building remains open until 7 p.m.
Admission is free but you must BOOK IN ADVANCE
Complementary information about the Tree of Gernika and the Casa de Juntas (Assembly House)
The Euskal Herria Museum
Built in the Baroque style, the Alegria Palace is home to the interesting Euskal Herria Museum. Set amidst the Assembly House, the Park of the Peoples of Europe and the Convent of Santa Clara, visitors can learn all about the history of the Basque Country through its culture and traditions.
Complementary information about the Euskal Herria Museum
The home of the Euskal Herria Museum is the magnificent Palace of the Count of Montefuerte, the Alegria Palace, built in 1733. It stands in a part of Gernika that was spared from the bombs that fell on the town in 1937, during the Civil War. But the building goes back much further than that and is inextricably linked to the history of the Basque Country. The original structure was a medieval tower whose function was primarily defensive.
The Peace Museum
This interactive museum takes us back to the 26th of April 1937, the day on which bombs and fire reduced the streets of the town of Gernika to rubble.
Its thorough and highly impressive photographic exhibition, as well as the poignant audiovisual presentations featuring testimonies of survivors of the tragedy, make this museum a must-see for every visitor to the town.
Complementary information about the Peace Museum
The Mural of Picasso’s “Guernica”
Located in the same street as the Assembly House and the Euskal Herria Museum, each individual tile of the mosaic gives shape to the stunning puzzle that sprang from Pablo Picasso's imagination: the “Guernica”, a work of unquestionable international prestige that can today be admired in the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. The mosaic is a life-size reproduction of the original (3.49 m. x 7.77 m.).
Complementary information about the Mural of Picasso’s “Guernica”
The Park of the Peoples of Europe and sculptures
Divided into four quite separate sections in terms of structure and composition, this park is home to an interesting variety of trees and shrubs. A veritable haven of peace in the centre of Gernika. The northern part of the park is where we will find two important sculptures:
- Eduardo Chillida’s “Gure Aitaren Etxea”
- Henry Moore’s “Large Figure in a Shelter”.
A stream meanders through the park, and there is also a duck pond, a firm favourite for young and old alike.
Complementary information about the Park of the Peoples of Europe
Gernika is the only town in the Basque Country to have restored three of its air-raid shelters:
The Pasealeku air-raid shelter:
Two of the four tunnels excavated in 1936 were reopened in 2018.
Opening hours: Please check at the Tourist Office
The Astra air raid shelter, outdoor visit:
The shelter at the Astra arms factory was built in September 1936 to provide shelter for the company’s workforce. This concrete building was “concealed” beneath a false roof which prevented it from being identified by the planes that took part in the bombing.
Opening hours: Please check at the Tourist Office
The Talleres de Gernika air-raid shelter, outdoor visit:
The second Talleres de Gernika shelter is a 22-metre long by 5-metre wide structure made up of solid, one-metre thick walls.
THESE TWO SHELTERS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.
Complementary information about the Air-raid shelters
Just 4 days after the military uprising, on the 22nd of July 1936, the first bombing of Basque territory took place: the bombardment of Otxandio, a town located to the south of Gernika. In the aftermath of this and subsequent attacks on Bilbao, and in anticipation of future bombings, towns throughout the Basque Country began building shelters.
The Gernika market
Monday is the best day of the week to visit Gernika, as every Monday of the year it is home to one of the few traditional markets that are still held in the Basque Country. People from all over the region of Busturialdea flock to the Gernika market to buy and sell agricultural products in an atmosphere of colour and gaiety.
Experience Monday in Gernika for yourself!
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., although traders may sometimes pack up their stalls earlier or later than that, depending on how the day’s sales have been going.
Complementary information about the Gernika Market
Dating back more than 650 years - to when it was first established as a town in fact - Gernika boasts one of the few remaining traditional markets in the Basque Country. Back in 1366, Gernika’s founding Charter granted it the right to hold a weekly market.
The Jai Alai Fronton
One of the largest cesta punta fronton courts in the world still in use, it is known as the “Cathedral of Pelota” in the Basque Country. The fact that it is the fastest ball game in the world has earned it its place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the raw power of this sport live!
Complementary information about the Jai Alai Fronton
Following the overwhelming success of cesta punta in Durango, a magnificent fronton was built and inaugurated in Gernika in June 1963. The work of the prestigious architect Secundino Zuazo, the Gernika Jai Alai was built in the shape of a two-storey-high, right-scalene triangle.
Jai Alai, a Joyful Party. A sport, a party. The fastest sport in the world in one of the world’s largest fronton courts still in use. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the raw power of cesta punta live. You may have seen lots of sports, but you’ve never seen anything like this!
The Gothic Church of Santa Maria
Address: Goienkalea 1
Just a few metres away from the Gernika Assembly House, at the top of a steep slope that once marked the boundary between the urban area of the town of Gernika and the jurisdiction of the elizate or parish of Lumo, stands the Church of Santa María de Gernika. The church was built in Gothic style in the mid-15th century.
Before mass: 6:15 - 7 p.m.
Mass hours: Monday to Saturday at 7 p.m.
Sundays: 12:30 p.m.