Today is the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Guernica.

During the Spanish Civil War, 26 April 1937 at 16.30, the Nazi German Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion and the Fascist Italian Aviazione Legionaria, under the code name Operation Rügen, bombed without any warning the Basque town of Guernica.

Gernika in Basque; officially Gernika-Lumo, in the Basque province of Biscay, and 30 km east of Bilbao, has long been a centre of great significance to the Basque people. It was also considered the Basque spiritual capital.

The attack gained infamy because it involved the bombing of civilians by a military air force. The number of victims is still disputed; the Basque government reported 1,654 people killed at the time. Today the civilian casualties is set to 170 to 300 people.

The bombing gained immediate international media attention. Guernica quickly became a world-renowned symbol of civilian suffering resulting from conflict. The bombing also shocked many artists and is the subject of a famous anti-war painting by Pablo Picasso.

Photograph of the Day by Manel Armengol.