How to transform and re-signify Valle de los Caídos (“Valley of the Fallen”), the Francoist monument in the Sierra de Guadarrama close to Madrid?
Valle de los Caídos with its 152-meter-tall cross visible from more than 30 kilometers away and its “basilica”, a 263-meter long crypt with a 52-meter high vault cut out of the granite mountain rock, is one of the world’s most controversial monuments.
The structure was built between 1940 and 1959 using forced labor of Spanish republican political prisoners. Next to the remains of over 33.000 fallen from both sides of the conflict (that were moved there from mass graves spread all over the country), the basilica features Franco’s grave in its most prominent spot – and next to it the grave of the Falangist leader Antonio Primo de Rivera.
re-signifying Valle de los Caídos