The town of Gernika, founded in 1366 and closely linked to the history of the Basque Country, is a must-visit.
After being flattened in an air raid in the Spanish Civil War, an event that led to Picasso’s famous painting Guernica, the town was awarded the title of “symbol of peace", giving rise to twinning and cooperation arrangements with other towns in fields such as culture, education, and industry.
Gernika-Lumo boasts an important artistic heritage, the highlight being the complex of buildings called the Casa de Juntas, home of the famous Tree of Gernika where the Juntas Generales (General Councils) have been held since the 15th century.
Other points of interest are the Gothic church of Santa María; the convent of Santa Clara; the Palacio de la Alegría, an 18th-century noble house; and the Museo de Euskalerria and the Park of Peace, with colossal sculptures by Eduardo Chillida and Henry Moore.
Close by is the Nature Reserve of Urdaibai, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, and the cave of Santimamiñe (Kortezubi), whose paintings are on a par with those of Altamira in terms of quality and historical value.