Though Spain claimed neutrality during WWII, Gernika was alone in suffering an attack from the Nazis that left 2000 dead.
There's a tree in the center of the square in Gernika. If the tree ever dies; if it does, then something bad happens--like the Basques lose their freedom. So it is of great ritual importance to keep the tree alive. When the tree gets really old, one of its offspring is then planted to take its place.
The governance of this region is strongly democratic. Important decisions are still made out in the square with the full community present underneath the tree. These are a uniquely independent people.
Throughout the northern region of Spain, the symbolism of Gaia and the tree were present. Even Gaudi's work reflected the importance of nature. Despite Spain's devoutly Catholic history, the roots of the past were deep and patient.