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Have downloaded it into a word document to read on the sun bed (a very popular recent purchase!!) later on almost within sight of the dreaded cross. If I walked 15 mins down the dog walking path I'd see it or a couple of mins in the car.
Yes, a very interesting read.

Just to add - I read it whilst on my sofa with the grey clouds and gale force winds a blowing outside. Alas, no sunbed for me at the moment!
:eyebrows:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have downloaded it into a word document to read on the sun bed (a very popular recent purchase!!) later on almost within sight of the dreaded cross. If I walked 15 mins down the dog walking path I'd see it or a couple of mins in the car.
I have never been, nor do I have any desire to go.

I am interested in hearing what you have to say about the article. What year did you arrive in Spain?
 

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I have never been, nor do I have any desire to go.

I am interested in hearing what you have to say about the article. What year did you arrive in Spain?
'86 I think it was.
Didn't get to the article this afternoon, although I did get to the sun bed...:cool::p
 

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We went when the kids were young and my son dutifully did what his Dad told him to do and stamped on Franco's grave. He was shooed away quite quickly by the staff but we were all delighted. My FiL's father was imprisoned by the nationalists and the rest of the family were hidden by friends and family for years. FiL made shoes for his siblings from sparto grass and times were very hard, with fear and hunger frequent companions.

We can almost see the cross from the garden and have been numerous times since with visitors (the tomb is now roped off). It is in a beautiful area and the views are spectacular. The basilica is truly awe inspiring, hewn as it is into into the mountainside. It is always beautifully cool in the summer. It is also extremely distressing and gives a feeling of deep foreboding. Republican prisoners of war built the place and many died in the process. One is conscious of those lives lost in building this monument to an evil dictator, whatever might be said about it being built to commemorate all lives lost in the civil war, as well as all the many lives blighted by the war. Hitler died in his bunker, Mussolini was hung, but Franco lays in splendour with a crown of fresh flowers adorning the spot where he is buried. It is all to obscene.

A superb historical novel bringing the era to life is The Return by Victoria Hislop. The building of the monument comes into the story.

If anyone wishes to visit, there are rooms at very reasonable prices:

http://www.valledeloscaidos.es/hospederia/inicio
 

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memoria/desmemoria histórica. The article seems to talk more about pro-Franco people. Maybe it's the crowd I run with, but I sure haven't met any franquistas, rather the contrary (Granted, it's mostly a youngish, university crowd so it's not exactly without bias)
 

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We went when the kids were young and my son dutifully did what his Dad told him to do and stamped on Franco's grave. He was shooed away quite quickly by the staff but we were all delighted.
I was taken to visit it in 1979 when I was a student in Madrid, and Franco was less than 4 years dead. As we (a group of American students) approached Franco's grave, someone ran up and started stomping on it. The guardias (or were they police? military?) immediately wrestled him to the ground as they clubbed him, and then dragged him away. We stood there with our mouths hanging open. That was definitely not something we were used to seeing at home.

I guess the fact that your kids were only shooed away shows that stomping on the grave became a pretty common occurrence that they had to get used to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
memoria/desmemoria histórica. The article seems to talk more about pro-Franco people. Maybe it's the crowd I run with, but I sure haven't met any franquistas, rather the contrary (Granted, it's mostly a youngish, university crowd so it's not exactly without bias)
One town up here still has a Falange member on the town council. Franco's statue was taken down just six years ago in Santander. I have worked on Avenida Carrero Blanco and turned down a house we liked because it was on Avenida del Generalisimo. To me, letting this sort of imagery/names stay is a sort of support for the past.

There are still plenty Francoists around, although they might not be all that vocal.
 

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We went when the kids were young and my son dutifully did what his Dad told him to do and stamped on Franco's grave. He was shooed away quite quickly by the staff but we were all delighted. My FiL's father was imprisoned by the nationalists and the rest of the family were hidden by friends and family for years. FiL made shoes for his siblings from sparto grass and times were very hard, with fear and hunger frequent companions.

We can almost see the cross from the garden and have been numerous times since with visitors (the tomb is now roped off). It is in a beautiful area and the views are spectacular. The basilica is truly awe inspiring, hewn as it is into into the mountainside. It is always beautifully cool in the summer. It is also extremely distressing and gives a feeling of deep foreboding. Republican prisoners of war built the place and many died in the process. One is conscious of those lives lost in building this monument to an evil dictator, whatever might be said about it being built to commemorate all lives lost in the civil war, as well as all the many lives blighted by the war. Hitler died in his bunker, Mussolini was hung, but Franco lays in splendour with a crown of fresh flowers adorning the spot where he is buried. It is all to obscene.

A superb historical novel bringing the era to life is The Return by Victoria Hislop. The building of the monument comes into the story.

If anyone wishes to visit, there are rooms at very reasonable prices:

http://www.valledeloscaidos.es/hospederia/inicio
I've been twice as visitors wanted to see it and I agree with (nearly!) all you say.
The views are spectacular, it is cool in the summer and it is distressing and foreboding. I wouldn't say the basilica is awe inspiring though...

I don't know if it's still open to the public because it was closed under Zapatero. Here's an old article about it
A valley for all of the fallen? | In English | EL PAÍS
 

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I've been twice as visitors wanted to see it and I agree with (nearly!) all you say.
The views are spectacular, it is cool in the summer and it is distressing and foreboding. I wouldn't say the basilica is awe inspiring though...

I don't know if it's still open to the public because it was closed under Zapatero. Here's an old article about it
A valley for all of the fallen? | In English | EL PAÍS
It reopened a couple of years ago.
 

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Interesting article but it understates the effectiveness of the Law of Historical Memory passed during the last PSOE government. That was the official end of the Olvido, and people were no longer restrained from talking about the atrocities that took place during the Civil War. An avalanche of Spanish books, films and documentaries followed on topics that had been taboo for years.

Although the problem of what to do with the Valley of the Fallen wasn't resolved, that law resulted in thousands of of people being able to openly investigate what happened to their relatives, the discovery of mass burial sites, the investigation of stolen babies (with the collaboration of the Church). There are very few streets and squares left in the country named for El Generalísimo.

The current PP government, who opposed the law when it was passed, didn't repeal it when they came to power but they did stop funding the exhumations. These are now financed by local groups. I hope the next PSOE one will have the courage to deal with the Valley of the Fallen, but I believe that as time passes it will become less and less significant. That whole era will eventually become just one more dark and shameful period in Spain's dramatic and violent history. It certainly wasn't the first.
 

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That's a great post. I simply note that the death of Franco is when "la movida" really started. His death released so much pent-up energy and gave rise to all sorts of artistic activity like Almodóvar and Martín Gaite, just to mention a couple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Interesting article but it understates the effectiveness of the Law of Historical Memory passed during the last PSOE government. That was the official end of the Olvido, and people were no longer restrained from talking about the atrocities that took place during the Civil War. An avalanche of Spanish books, films and documentaries followed on topics that had been taboo for years.

Although the problem of what to do with the Valley of the Fallen wasn't resolved, that law resulted in thousands of of people being able to openly investigate what happened to their relatives, the discovery of mass burial sites, the investigation of stolen babies (with the collaboration of the Church). There are very few streets and squares left in the country named for El Generalísimo.

The current PP government, who opposed the law when it was passed, didn't repeal it when they came to power but they did stop funding the exhumations. These are now financed by local groups. I hope the next PSOE one will have the courage to deal with the Valley of the Fallen, but I believe that as time passes it will become less and less significant. That whole era will eventually become just one more dark and shameful period in Spain's dramatic and violent history. It certainly wasn't the first.
Again, it depends where you are. Cantabria is still pretty full of Franco-era names. A lawyer just "denunció" the mayors of three towns in the region for maintaining the names, but he could have easily taken many more to court.
 

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One town up here still has a Falange member on the town council. Franco's statue was taken down just six years ago in Santander. I have worked on Avenida Carrero Blanco and turned down a house we liked because it was on Avenida del Generalisimo. To me, letting this sort of imagery/names stay is a sort of support for the past.

There are still plenty Francoists around, although they might not be all that vocal.
Does the Falange party still exist?
 
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