Valley Of The Fallen – Benedictine Abbey

Valley Of The Fallen – Benedictine Abbey

 

El Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen or the Abbey of the Holy Cross) is a monument built between 1940 and 1958. It is located in the municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in Madrid (Spain).

It is located 9.5 km north of the Monastery of El Escorial in the Sierra de Guadarrama.

Cruz del Valle de los Caídos
Cruz del Valle de los Caídos

This is a closer shot of the cross, for you to see the size of the cross compared with the two persons on the picture.

This cross, with its height of 150 meters, and arms measuring 46 meters wide, is visible from over 60 km (40 miles) away, and makes it the tallest Christian cross in the world.

Abadía de la Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos
Abadía de la Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos

The Cross, has two bases. At 25 meters high, in the first basement, there are sculptures of the four Evangelists and their symbols.  John and the Eagle, Lucas and the Bull, Marcos and the Lion, and Matthew and the Winged Man, sculpted by Juan de Avalos.

This sculpture we see on this photo is John and the Eagle.

Further up, there is a second set of 4 sculptures which are 42 feet high, and they represent the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, strength and temperance.

Basílica del Valle de los Caidos
Basílica del Valle de los Caidos

Francisco Franco ordered the construction of this monumental work.  He is buried here, along with Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Spanish Falange political party, and other 33.872 combatants from both sides in the Civil War, Nationals and Republicans.

Abadía de la Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos
Abadía de la Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos

Built on an esplanade in the back of the Cross, at Risco de la Nava, we have the abbey, composed of two main buildings. The closest to the Cross, is the Benedictine abbey itself, and further away is a tourist inn managed by the monks. Its use is aimed to have religious, and cultural events.

Vista del Valle de Cuelgamuros, desde la Cruz del Valle de los Caidos.
Vista del Valle de Cuelgamuros, desde la Cruz del Valle de los Caidos.

Cuelgamuros Valley is part of the Sierra de Guadarrama, and from this point, we are only 9.5 Kms. North to El Escorial and its monastery, which is a must to go visit, being so close.

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