Thursday, June 21, 2007

June 20th - Valle de los Caidos

Today we travelled into the Guadarrama mountains to view one of Spain's most famous monuments, the Valle de los Caidos...the Valley of the Fallen. It's a huge monument and basilica dedicated to the soldiers who fell during Spain's Civil War. The monument consists of a huge stone cross, 505 feet tall. Here is a shot of the monument from the highway.

And here we have the Guadarrama Mountains.

A closer shot of the cross, with the entrance to the basilica.

This is the basilica, hewn out of the rock of the mountain. It took 18 years, from 1940-1958 to construct the monument. The basilica's excavated area is actually larger than St. Peter's in Rome, which would make it the largest church in the world, but out of deference to St. Peter's, a large section of the excavated area was walled off, making the actual basilica smaller than St. Peter's.

Here is the simple tomb of Francisco Franco, hero of the Spanish Civil War.

And here is the entrance to the crypt, where 40,000 soldiers are buried, from both sides of the conflict.

This is a shot of the cross and basilica from a different angle. The scenery up there, high in the mountains was amazing.

1 comment:

Aggie said...

Joe and I were there. I didn't realize that tidbit of info, about this potentially being larger that St. Peters, I don't remember thinking it was that big.