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The Valley of the Fallen April 14, 2015

Posted by anagasto in art, history.
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valley-fallen

The Valley of the Fallen built by General Franco.
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paso1_ph5

For the original photo see http://www.valledeloscaidos.es/monumento/paso

Part of its beauty is in its landscape, but Franco and his people  chose this design and that dramatic cross  as a warning and a prayer.  Many Spaniards are now ashamed of their past and they do not want Franco’s name to be remembered.

Franco was hated by half the country.

He was a dictator, and he did start the civil war, and he won.

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paso1_ph7

For the original photo see http://www.valledeloscaidos.es/monumento/paso

A civil war is worse than any other kind of war.  Even now, in a small town or village, at church or at the market, a woman would come face to face with those whose father had shot her father.

Many villages are very small. Spain did not yet have much industry, and in those small villages there were some families that owned all the surrounding land.

The villagers were all employed by these few families as journeymen, during harvest time, as nannies and cooks, as blacksmiths, bricklayers, shepherds, carpenters .

So there were deep reasons for resentment and clashes for they had all known and watched each other for several generations back.
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paso6_ph1la nave official web

For the original photo see http://www.valledeloscaidos.es/monumento/paso

Franco had made many  prisoners. They were employed to carve a tunnel into the rocks. It was a cheap way to build a great monument and to keep the prisoners active.

They also got paid, though it was very little. Spain was poor and in many places starving.
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The cross was built later under the direction of Diego Mendez. It weighs more than 200.000 tons, measures 150 meters in height y 46 meters across the arms.

There is a more technical description, but only in Spanish, at http://www.abc.es/20101119/archivo/franco-diego-mendez-valle-201011181819.html

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valley of the fallen MAO 1  (c) MAO

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tn_Valle inauguration

This was the day of the inauguration.

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The photo is by Caroline Angus Baker. There is a large version at

http://carolineangusbaker.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/valle-caidos.jpg
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valle-de-los-de-caidos los presos

And these are the workers.

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tn_valley of the fallen MAO 2

c) MAO

References

There is an official web site with lots of photos and information: http://www.valledeloscaidos.es/monumento/paso

The place is now a Benedictine abbey and you can attend mass and hear the monks sing.

la hospedería

There is also an inn where you can have lunch.

contact hospedería

Comments»

1. Carl D'Agostino - August 13, 2013

I did not know about this monument. Great post.


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