Valley of the Fallen!

San Lorenzo de El Escorial Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 21 › view all entries
Wikipedia details: The valley that contains the monument, preserved as a national park, is located 10 km northeast of the royal site of El Escorial, northwest of Madrid. Beneath the valley floor lie the remains of 40,000, whose names are accounted for in the monument's register.

Although the valley contains Nationalist and Republican graves – several former Republicans' bodies were moved there from temporary graves at the end of the war – the tone of the monument is distinctly Nationalist and anti-Communist, containing the inscription "¡Caídos por Dios y por España!" (to "Those who fell for God and for Spain"), reflecting the close ties of Franco's Nationalist regime to the Roman Catholic Church.

Additionally, Franco's timing of his announcement of the decision to create the monument left no doubts: on 1 April 1940, the day of the victory parade to celebrate the first anniversary of his triumph over the Republic, Franco announced his personal decision to raise a splendid monument to those who had fallen in his cause.[1]

Today, Spain's Socialist Government has been debating plans to redesignate the Valley of the Fallen a "monument to Democracy" or as a memorial to all Spaniards killed in conflict.[2]

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
photo by: Jeroenadmiraal