On the staggering cliffs of Sierra de Guadarrama hills lies this historical landmark honoring 40,000 people that died during the devastating Spanish Civil War. This architectural masterpiece consists of the abbey and the basilica beneath which lies the Cuelgamuros Valley. Together they make an amazing sight to behold.
The most imposing feature of the site is the skyscraping 150-metre-high cross, the tallest memorial cross in the whole world. Its granite form emerges dramatically from the pine forest below framing the sight of the whole memorial. Beneath it, carved into the mountain lies one of the largest basilicas in the world, Basilica of the Holy Cross, surpassing in size even the famous St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. And on the other side of the mountain lies the Benedictine Abbey, where the monks hold perpetual Masses for those fallen in war and for future peace. The abbey’s quadratic form frames a giant courtyard freely open to sky above. Another impressive feature you’ll witness on site are the four monolithic statues of the evangelists by Juan de Ávalos, looking so vivid that it seems like they’re emerging from the monument walls.
The good thing about this excursion is that you can see other historical places as well as the Valley. There’s a number of them including El Escorial, a royal monastery and Royal site of Aranjuez famous for being former residence of Spanish kings. There’s also a tour including the city of Toledo, famous for being the “City of Three Cultures”.
The Valley of the Fallen is a historical monument that stands today as a place for people to make their contribution in commemorating all the lives that were unfortunately lost to war. Visit this memorial and learn about its historical importance and why it still touches the hearts of all those who visit it.