Valle de los Caidos, San Lorenzo de El Escorial
(3.7/5 based on 800+ reviews on the web)
Valle de los Caidos, a surviving artifact of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, remains controversial. Intended to honor the dead of the Spanish Civil War, the monument also contains Franco’s tomb. The mountainous area surrounding the monument covers 1360 hectares (3,360 acres), and the monument has a cross visible from a great distance away. The basilica here, one of the largest in the world, serves as an underground crypt and has statues on display. Check the official website to see if your trip coincides with a religious holiday, and try the funicular to reach the top. To visit Valle de los Caidos on your holiday in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and find out what else San Lorenzo de El Escorial has to offer, use our San Lorenzo de El Escorial family vacation planner.
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10 days in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid & Barcelona BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in Spain, Porto & Fatima BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA April, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 21 days in Community of Madrid BY A USER FROM URUGUAY October, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in Spain BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA September, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 16 days in Spain BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA February, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: February, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 30 days in Spain BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA September, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM POLAND June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in San Lorenzo de El Escorial & Avila BY A USER FROM SPAIN May, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in San Lorenzo de El Escorial & Avila BY A USER FROM SPAIN May, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in San Lorenzo de El Escorial & Avila BY A USER FROM SPAIN May, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in San Lorenzo de El Escorial & Avila BY A USER FROM SPAIN May, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Spain BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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TripAdvisor
  • We visited on a very rainy and cold day so we couldn't see the cross outside or take in the view of the surrounding area. Still, visiting the basilica was worth the stop. We were fortunate as we arriv...  more »
  • Which, for the reason that is, disposed to visit the Valley of the fallen don't know what is lost, regardless of ideologies, and "cleansed" of many black legends that weigh upon him (unfairly, other if are true). Already of by itself the spot called it attention, in the middle of the mountain, and them views from the Esplanade of the monument are impressive (pity that it rise to the cross is closed-prohibited-). The basilica, excavated in the interior of the mountain, is incredible. It overwhelms its amplitude and its disposal. It is huge (at origin, larger than St. Peter's in the Vatican) and has several dedicated altars, altar, choir stalls, and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. There are few works of art, but the temple itself is longer. It also emphasizes the cupola. Highly recommended to go to the mass that is done in the morning in the main altar (I remember that it is at 11:00), especially if there is an event (renewal of vows, admission to the Benedictines, etc.).
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  • Impressive: the project, the dimensions, the place. Personally, he conveyed deep weigh. There is a great sense of loss and death. But it is a place to meet. At least to take real dimension of the miseries human trying to be compensated, sometimes, with projects pharaonic to the cost of many lives lost in such end. Could be a monument to it more imposing and miserable of the human being. To reflect...
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Google
  • This magnificently constructed war memorial built mainly inside a mountain is probably unique on the planet. The concept is colossal as was the senseless sacrifice of those involved in the civil war. The isolated location adds beautifully to its melancholy feel.
  • Impressive basilica and natural site. Not to be missed.
  • I wanted to rate this higher but it is a difficult place to get comfortable with. It is certainly awesome in scale but it is a paradox of feelings and purpose. I think there is both forgiveness and hate still brewing here and you can feel the conflict in the design and atmosphere. I think it's something hitler might have built but it is suppose to be a place of healing for the warring factions of the civil war. I don't think it works. Certainly worth a visit.
  • Hidden place for most of these the tourist but it's a must when visiting Madrid. Access Is not easy but you can find some tours.
  • Sad to read so many positive comments here. Spain "modern" democratic country where still there is a monument to a dictator and what is worse, built by slaves or war prisoners. Just imagine this in a country(modern and democratic in its case), having a graveyard, monument and all the pomposity to Hitler and you all must feel proud to visit and walk a place where so many men die.