If you ever happen to visit Gernika, you can see little oak tiles with arrows placed in the stone walkways. They point the way to the location of the Gernikako Arbola, the Tree which symbolizes the traditional freedoms, culture and government of the Basque people. In the middle ages, and probably much further back, Basque villages would hold assemblies under the biggest or oldest local tree. In 1512 the great oak in Gernika became the location of Basque regional assembly. There has been more than one Tree of continuous lineage, but the fact that Basques protected the Gernikako Arbola with an armed guard during the bombing of Gernika in the Spanish Civil War is an indication of just how much the Tree, and Gernika, means to the Basque people.
Check out this awesome, informative look back at Gernika before, during and after the bombs. A day-by-day military infographic, memories of a Basque soldier (not in English, but a great video), a man exiled as a child to Belgium, sings a Basque song from his exile, and a virtual walkthrough of Gernika, then and now (nasty IE plugin required), which takes you to the Tree. The infographic is particularly fine, i hope eitb keeps this on their site for a while.
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