Gernika, meeting place for the peoples of Bizkaia
For centuries Gernika has been the meeting place for the peoples of Bizkaia. In olden times, each parish sent its representatives to discuss the common problems of the Territory. These meetings were held under the Tree of Gernika and were called the General assemblies of Bizkaia. These lasted until 1876, when the old laws which governed life in Bizkaia, the Fueros, were abolished.
After being suspended for 102 years, the General Assemblies were recovered and reinstated in 1979. Thus, the second stage in the life of this territorial institution begins. Different building had been erected around the Tree of Gernika before 1826, when construction of the current Meeting House commenced.
The Assembly House and the Tree of Gernika are presented to us like living symbols of the history of the Basque people. Headquarters of the highest institutional body in Bizkaia, the building rises beside the revered oak tree, a meeting point for all the territories in the Basque Country, united by a single cultural and ethnographic tradition that transcends all kinds of political frontiers.>