Libertad Digital exclusively shows you the Valley of the Fallen ahead of its likely closure


digital freedom enter Valley of the Fallen at a decisive moment in his future. Now it’s not even called. Since last October 22, when the Democratic Memory Act was published in the Bank of England, it has been renamed Cuelgamuros Valley. There is uncertainty and tension. Will it be the Memory Interpretation Center? Civil cemetery? Will the government be able to close the abbey of the Benedictine monks who have run the basilica since 1958?

FROM Paul Linarespresident of the Association for the Protection of the Valley of the Fallen, we go through all the premises of the institution.

There are two in the Valley of the Fallen Guinness Book of Records: to the largest Christian cross with a height of 150 meters and the longest basilica with a length of 262 meters.

The report begins under the main dome, forty-two meters high, decorated with “a mosaic of 5 and a half million small tesserae.” We are in the place where Franco’s remains rested in 2019. We see some new black marble slabs, not just the one in the tombstone opening. Linares tells us, “Yes, the presidency’s department went out of their way to say that it was a very simple maneuver from a technical standpoint, but it seems like it was harder than it should have been because they had more to do.” than obvious damage.

What does Valley of the Fallen mean? Linares insisted on several occasions that this is “an example of the world in the moment when buried together, 32,847 fell on both sides war, not one side, not the one that won, not the one that won, not the one that lost, both sides. Here all the swords, and there are several of them, are always pointing down, forming a cross, and not in a position to attack or damage what is in front. Four huge bronze archangels, 7 meters high, with these weapons surround the main altar. . . .

His grandfather, he says, was “one of the free laborers working here. Republican” and that “he always remarked that everything they said about this place was an absolute lie.” He researched its design for 40 years. A story that most Spaniards know by word of mouth and about which few experts such as the professor Alberto BarcenaThey bothered to investigate.

The Valley of the Fallen is the perfect storm of the Law of Memory.concentrates all the obsessions of the left: the civil war and the two sides, the graves of Franco (until three years ago), the grave of Falange leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera “in a prominent place,” he says. , and cross, catholic symbol.

An obsession for the left and a nasty problem for other political parties who, fearing controversy, refused to preserve the impressive monumental complex. Humidity, lack of investment for decades, or even lack of access for the disabled.

On the sides of the basilica (under the ground excavated in the mountain), in the arms of the transept, there are two chapels, Santisimo and Santo Sepulcro. Most of the more than 33,000 war dead in Valle rest here. It is accessed via a side staircase. Some in boxes, others not, located in ossuary rooms carved into the walls and distributed over several floors.

For years there has been a legal battle between those who want to hand over the remains of their ancestors and those who do not. The most famous case in which an exhumation was requested was that of a family from Zaragoza, the brothers Sadness and “which, of course, we all respect,” says Linares, a spokesman for those who refuse to open the boxes. As he states, in85% of cases are not accredited by any of the viewpoints found here“258 families are part of the Linares association and it is clear that the remains of their loved ones are here, but they do not want to be touched or subjected to a forensic examination to search for other remains, which, I repeat, are not accredited that they are in this place.”

digital freedom had access to exclusive images of ossuaries and you can see the pitiful state of decay. Many years ago, the floor of one of them collapsed, there are even scattered remains. Linares speaks of “piles of bones“. This is one of the great conflicts that has affected the Valley of the Fallen.

The Valley of the Fallen “has suffered three terrorist attacks in its history: one by French anarchists, another by ETA and a third by Grapo.”



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