Madrid and the Valley of the Fallen

Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 11:41 AM
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Madrid and the Valley of the Fallen

Another poster wrote about the Valley of teh Fallen outside of Madrid, saying that it was beautiful and touching and dedicated to the victims of communism. Is it worth a trip? How does one get there?
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 11:56 AM
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My husband and I were there in 1990. We had a car and were in route from Toledo to Segovia. We stopped at El Escorial(huge monastery with tombs of kings and queens) and Valley of the Fallen. Both are very near each other.

The memorial is pretty impressive. It houses the tomb of Francisco Franco, the Fascist dictator.

I can't recall the purpose of it. But I know my Basque relatives were not impressed that we had visited it. I think some are of the opinion that it is supposed to be a memorial to the fallen, but it is actually Franco's grand memorial to himself.

Maybe others can give a more correct assessment.

Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 12:06 PM
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Franco's Tomb reminds you that the fascists were not all Nazis, that some fought on the side of right. Imagine if Stalin and his communist allies in the Republican government were in control of Spain after the war.
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 12:22 PM
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I went to the valley of the fallen many years ago. I did not even know that it was now where Franco is buried. I visited before he died. It was a monument to the fallen in their civil war,very sad.
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 12:24 PM
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Dear Dave:

The Valley and El Escorial is west of Madrid, probably within an hour. I'm sure there are day tours available from Madrid. It was pretty easy by car when we did it.
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 12:33 PM
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Since we do not rent cars on vacation, we took a 1/2 day tour to El Escorial (great -- if you do go to the Valley by all means include this in your trip) and Valley of the Fallen. Enjoyed the scenery on the way there (saw some of the acorn grazing pigs that become their famous ham) & the Valley itself. Fantastic view from the church which was dug mostly by hand out of the mountainside. It is both a memorial to the fallen on both sides of the Spanish Civil War and Franco's tomb (on which there are still fresh flowers put daily). Well worth the afternoon. Go as a tourist/history-oriented sightseer, leave politics at home.
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