Gernika’s weekly market on Mondays was held outdoors until the mid 20th century, as there were no enclosed premises to house it.
After the 1937 bombing of the charter town and during the subsequent reconstruction, the Directorate for Devastated Regions and Rebuilding planned an enclosed site for the market, which was completed in 1943. At the end of the 1980s and given the state of repair of the building in question (dilapidated due partly to the passing of time and to the low quality materials used by the Devastated Regions Directorate), the local council decided to demolish it and build a new one.
This new market was opened in 1991 and still continues today
Every Monday, people buying and selling farm products from the whole Busturialdea region gather at the Gernika market. In fact, this Monday market can be thought of as meeting point for local residents. It continues to play its social role as it did decades ago, when people did not have as many means at their disposal and Monday was the day not only to buy and sell, but also to socialise. This is one of the few traditional markets still held in Euskal Herria and is a colourful and joyful event that ends with cesta matches on the Jai-Alai Basque Pelota Court. As the old saying goes: "lunes gernikes, kolperik ez", in other words, "Mondays in Gernika, no one lifts a finger".
To understand the concept of Gernika’s Monday market, we should mention its motto:
“Baserritik Plazara”, in other words, from the farmstead to the market.
That refers to the restriction on who can sell produce at the Monday market: only producers with their own holding and not resellers.
Did you know that there are “hagglers” in Gernika?
There are local producers that cannot go down to the Monday market in Gernika.
The “hagglers” visit those farmsteads and buy their surplus.
The haggler then sells those products at market and thus helps to maintain and look after the local landscape, which would otherwise be papered with withered market gardens and waste produce. The real gardeners of Urdaibai are the very country folk that look after the land thanks to their market gardens
The Monday market runs from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., even though the time for taking down the stands depends on the day's sales. Monday is the best day of the week to visit Gernika. Why don't you experience a Gernika Monday!
SPECIAL FAIRS ON SATURDAYS
These are thematic markets that promote a different native product and which are held on the first Saturday of the month from June to December. These markets run from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Guest and local producers
Idiazabal cheese and Txakoli de Urdaibai wine: Buy a glass and try the Txakoli from the different Urdaibai products, but in moderation as its alcohol level is between 9 and 11%.
Gernika peppers: Feel free to try a dozen fried green peppers, they are not hot!
Salt cod and Rioja Alavesa wine: Yes, as you can see in the photo, absolutely delicious and rightly so!
Rabbit and Bizkaia cider: Treat yourself to a glass of cider, along with a dish of rabbit stew. It will leave you speechless!
Sukalki Day: Sukalki is a veal stew made with peas, potatoes and carrots (along with other veg). If you have never tried it, today’s the day.
Gernika Beans: the bean is Gernika’s flagship product and the season begins in November. If you feel like trying a tasty dish of Gernika beans, well now you know: save the date.
The Snail Fair: Snails are a staple on the Christmas table of many households of the Basque Country. The last special market of the year therefore features this mollusc that is usually cooked in sauce, which is said to the best of the stew.