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  • Walking route by cliffs06.13.2024
  • Pintxos Evening06.14.2024
    20:00 h -
  • Cata de vinos06.17.2024
  • Museum of Fine Arts Bilbao06.19.2024
  • Pintxos Evening06.21.2024
  • Boat trip along Bilbao river06.24.2024
  • Cata de vinos06.26.2024
  • Pintxos Evening06.28.2024
    20:00 h -
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July 31, 2024

Guernica within the cultural routes for Spanish students

One of the most interesting visits that we organize for our students of Spanish in Bilbao is an excursion to Guernica or Gernika, of which the spelling changes if we write in Spanish or in Basque.

Guernica is a city located a little less than an hour from Bilbao by train. Easily accessible, you will have the opportunity to go from Bilbao to this place filled with history, which it is the historical capital of the Basque Country. In this city, you will be able to visit “El Museo de la Paz” (The Museum of Peace), where Peace is explained from different point of views.

Guernica, a city with a population of 15.800 inhabitants, is a well known place within the Basque Country region. It may be that the name sounds familiar to you because it is also the name of a famous Picasso painting; however, the city became famous due to a very sad event.

On April 26th of 1937, Guernica was partially destroyed due to air attacks promoted by Hitler in support of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. The bombings lasted over 3 hours and destroyed about 80% of the city.

It is this sad but famous tragedy that inspired the Guernica paiting of Picasso. This black and white painting shows the violence of the unjustified bombings that took place that day.

In our visits to Guernica, we always visit the Museum of Peace. As it is indicated by its name, Peace is the main theme of the museum, and it is expressed and exposed through three different exhibitions.

The first part of the exposition is titled “¿Qué es la paz?” (What is peace?). We then find out many objects, photographs, and citations that can define what peace is in general. This first part is very original and allows us to reflect and in consequence, take our own conclusions about this theme.

In the second part of the exposition titled “¿Qué ocurrió en Gernika en un momento de ausencia de paz?” (What happened in Gernika during a moment of absence of peace?), you will be able to learn about what happened in the city during the bombings. You will also be able to live what the population lived through a re-creation of the event by sitting by a house comparable to the ones that existed in 1937. Special effects are also included such as resonating sounds and shaking lights, a very original idea to achieve the feeling of the environment. As we exit that part of the exhibition, we encounter a magnificent part full of photographs as well as objects recovered after the attacks in the city. There are also ruins being displayed in glass boxes spread throughout the floor, which it makes the visit even more impacting.

To end the exposition, we go to the third part titled “¿Qué pasa actualmente con la Paz en el mundo?” (What is currently happening with Peace in the world?). In this part you will see a short movie that presents the state of our current world; political matters, poverty, hunger, sicknesses, and all that can greatly harm Peace. You will also be able to see a reproduction of Picasso’s Guernica painting.

To end the museum’s visit, we take a look at a temporary exhibition that is taking place through June 22nd and it is about the secret history of the “Gueto de Varsovia.” Then, during this visit you will see photographs, testimonies, and videos that describe an episode of “Shoa.”

In conclusion, to end this visit in the splendid city of Guernica, we go to the “Casa de Juntas” (House of Assembly). Situated in the higher part of the city, the monument of the House of Assembly as well as the famous Tree of Guernica can be found which it symbolizes the traditional rights of Biscay. Currently, it is the headquarters of the General Assembly of Biscay.

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