The Tree of Gernika is, without any doubt, the most universal symbol of all Basque people.

The tree that provided shelter or shade for the early Assemblies of the Seigniory of Bizkaia has become, in time, the symbol of the permanence of a nation and its institutions against the historical ups and downs that the Basques have experienced in their existence as a community.

The Tree of Gernika has spread beyond the geographical limits of Bizkaia to become a reference point for the whole of Euskalherria.

As a symbol that links our past and our present, it currently witnesses such special events as the taking possession and swearing into office of the Lehendakari (President of the Basque Country) or the Diputado General (Prime Minister of the Territory).

A commemorative plaque remembers the words used in 1936 by José Antonio Agirre, the first Lehendakari of Euskadi, which have become the protocol formula for carrying out this swearing into office.

Humbled before God
on foot on Basque soil
in memory of our ancestors
under the tree of Gernika
before you
representatives of the people
I swear to faithfully carry out my duties.

Though not the first of the Trees of Gernika, the trunk of the "Old Tree", which stands in the garden of the Casa de Juntas (Assembly House), is the remains of the oldest preserved tree.

Successor of the tree of Gernika until the year 2004

The successor to the "Old Tree" was planted in 1860 and remained outside the entrance to the oath-taking tribune until 2004, the year in which its life cycle ended and it had to be substituted.

Present-day tree of Gernika

Since 25th February 2005, the date on which it was planted, a new Tree of Gernika lends continuity to the historical tradition.

Coat of arms of Bizkaia

The Tree of Gernika is the central symbol of the coat of arms of Bizkaia.

The Tree of Gernika has conserved
the antiquity that makesits lords famous,
without tyrants having stripped it,
nor itshaving given shade to converts nor to traitors

Tirso de Molina


J.M. Iparagirre, born in Urretxu (Gipuzkoa) in 1820, and so a contemporary of the Carlist Wars, reflects the importance of this symbol in his song "Gernikako Arbola":

Portrait of J.M. Iparagirre
Gernikako Arbola
da bedeinkatua
guztiz maitatua.
Eman ta zabal zazu
munduan frutua
adoratzen zaitugu
arbola santua. (...)


Map of Bizkaia's trees Abellaneda Aretxabalagana Luyando Gerediaga Gernika

1-The Assemblies of the Encartaciones were held under the oak tree in Avellaneda.
2-In the same way, the Assemblies in the Duranguesado met under the oak tree in Gerediaga.
3-According to the Fuero, the Biscayans had to receive the Seignior under the oak tree in Aretxabalagana.
4-The oak tree of Gernika is the heart of the Seiniory. The Seignior had to swear to respect the Fueros under it.
5-The Malato Tree (Luyando).