A truly beautiful and evocative site, not far from the wonderful Escorial complex.
Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos is a lonely, beautiful and unique place, literally carved out of the rock.
It was built between 1940 and 1958 by Francisco Franco, to dedicate a sacred place to all the fallen who served “Dios y España” during the civil war of 1936-1939.
The Basilica was built by workers, prisoners and convicts. Many of these volunteered to reduce their sentence, up to full ransom. Some would even continue to work freely, receiving a salary.
A truly enchanting position for a place created to impress, thanks to its considerable size… starting with the gigantic reinforced concrete cross that overlooks the site, visible from miles away.
On the floor, two simple slabs recall the burial of General Francisco Franco, and of
José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Spanish Falange.
Net of the political aspect and the considerations that can be made around the figure of Franco, the Valle de Los Caidos is certainly a place to visit. In particular for those who were in San Lorenzo de Escorial.
The complex is located in the direction of Carretera de Guadarrama/El Escorial. 28209 Valle de Cuelgamuros. It is just 15 kilometers from the El Escorial complex.
Getting there by public transport can be quite complicated as only one bus (line 660) passes through here. The service is operated by Autocares Herranz, which exclusively connects San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The return ticket costs €5.20 per person.
From Madrid, however, it is preferable to arrive by car. It covers about 50 kilometers.
The Valle de los Caidos complex includes the basilica-crypt and the majestic Cross. The basilica, with a single nave, is entirely carved out of the rock. In the dome there is a majestic mosaic. Inside, however, there are decorations with Brussels tapestries and several copies of statues of the country’s most famous Madonnas.
The Valle de Los Caidos can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday at the following times:
Access is allowed one hour before closing. The site is closed on Mondays.
The standard fare ticket, from 16 to 64 years old, costs €9.
Over 65 and children aged 5 to 16 pay the reduced rate of €4.00.
Wednesday and Sunday, after 15:00, admission is free for European citizens, upon showing a valid identity document.
Free admission even on some special days such as May 18th (International Museum Day) and October 12th (National Day of Spain).