Gernikako arbola ("the tree of Gernika" in Basque) is an oak tree that symbolizes traditional freedoms for the Biscayan people, and by extension for the Basque people as a whole. The Lords of Biscay swore to respect the Biscayan liberties under it, and the modern Lehendakari ("President" in Basque) of the Basque Country swears his charge there.
The village of Gernika had long been a centre of great significance to the Basque people. Gernika was bombing on April 26, 1937, by planes of the German Luftwaffe "Condor Legion" and the Italian Fascist Aviazione Legionaria. The order to perform the raid was transmitted from the Spanish Command. The bombing took place on a Monday, ordinarily a market day in Guernica; and, it has often been considered one of the first raids in the history of modern military aviation on a defenceless civilian population. The bombing was the subject of a famous anti-war painting by Pablo Picasso.
GernikakoArbolatree of Gernikafree photo