Guernica, sometimes known by its official Basque name Gernika, is a city made notorious by the devastating firebombing and merciless civilian attack that took place here April 26th, 1937. This human tragedy and its many untold dimensions would become the inspiration for what is arguably Pablo Picasso's masterpiece, Guernica, today a symbol of peace which many ISA students will visit.
Despite the extent and enormity of the bombing, some of the most important buildings in town emerged undamaged and still remain: among them are the symbols of Basque identity the Assembly House and the Tree of Gernika, reference points for the province of Bizcaya since the Middle Ages. The idiosyncratic laws of Biscay, also called fueros, have been in force here for centuries, and are considered by some as one of the purest early forms of democracy.
The city's Peace Museum and Peoples' Park are two other highly important references for the curious visitor. Here students will discover how, leaving behind the horrors of the war, Gernika has moved forward and associated its once-tarnished name to the international movement for peace and conflict resolution. The park's name represents the complex gesture of remembering while forgiving, thus letting this once war-torn village extend its arms to all peace-loving visitors.
Available in the following sessions