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Guernica information


Gernika is situated in the valley of the river Oka .Near it there is the Urdaibai Nature Reserve, declared to be a Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO.

In town you should visit the Casa de Juntas del Señorío de Vizcaya, the church of Santa María , the Museum of Euskalerria and the Peace Park , with the faboulous sculptures of Chillida and Henry Moore.

Not far away from the town there is the cave of Santimañe (Kortezubi) ,showing that the valley has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Inside the cave the paintings are comparable in terms of quality and richness to those of Altamira. From that period on, Gernika was inhabited by successive civilizations until its foundation as a town in 1366.

In 1937, during the Civil War, the town was totally destroyed by German aircraft sent by Hitler. This experimental and horrible act, which inspired Picasso's legendary painting, was the first of similar atrocities carried out in subsequent wars. In 1987, the 50th anniversary of the bombing was held along with the Preliminary Congress of the World Association of Martyred Cities.

Gernika was awarded with the title of "peace symbol city', twinning with other cities and making commitments to cooperating with them in the fields of culture, education, and industry: Berga (Catalonia), Pforzheim (Germany) and Boise (Idaho - USA).

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