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The tallest cross in the world - Should it be demolished?
17 September 2020 @ 17:17

 


The Valley of the Fallen is a monumental complex located in the Madrid town of San Lorenzo del Escorial. One of its main elements is the Cross of the Valley of the Fallen. The complex has been part of the National Heritage since its opening, which took place on April 1, 1959.

Francisco Franco ordered its construction, and he was buried there next to José Antonio Primo de Rivera up until his exhumation last October. The burial place of Spain's fascist dictator General Francisco Franco had been the subject of fierce debate for decades. But the final chapter arrived on 24 October 2019. The government exhumed and moved Franco's remains to a cemetery in Madrid. But why were there calls for Franco's remains to be moved in the first place? And why has the issue proved so controversial?

Franco ruled Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. He was buried in a mausoleum within the Valley of the Fallen, leading to the site becoming a shrine for the far-right and thus loathed by many Spaniards. Spain's socialist government wanted the Valley of the Fallen to become "a place of commemoration, remembrance and homage to the victims of the war". It saw the presence of Franco's remains there as an affront to a mature democracy.

Many descendants of Franco's victims supported the idea of burying his remains elsewhere. But the issue has largely split public opinion across Spain.
Last August, despite objections from his closest family and the right-wing parties, the government approved the exhumation. It wanted to find a more low-key burial place where the dictator's followers would find it harder to pay tribute but also distance the dictator from the bodies of so many fallen soldiers.

Now he is not there, the Government has taken a further step just this week. Their intention is to make the priests leave the priory and for it to become a civil burial ground. This now leads on to the next discussion, if they want the complex to be a civil burial ground what do you do with the cross? The debate has started and some are pushing for it to be demolished.  The cross is without a doubt one of the most remarkable features of the Valley of the Fallen. It stands just above the Basilica. It is the highest Christian Cross in the world measuring 150m from the base. At the foot of the Cross, we can observe the statues of the four evangelists, as well as the symbols that correspond to each of them: Luke and the bull, Matthew and the winged man, John and the eagle, and Mark and the lion. As for the arms of the cross, they measure 46.40 meters each and it is possible to see it more than 40 kilometres away.

 


Inside there is an elevator that allows you to go up to the top. The Cross of the Fallen was made of reinforced concrete and covered with berrugo masonry and carved stone. To put its height into perspective, the Cross of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro is just 38m tall from the base, the Statue of Liberty is 93m from the base and St Paul's Cathedral is 111m to the tip of the main spire.


Given the magnitude of the construction and that it is a symbol of religious faith, do you think that it should be demolished because its construction was ordered by Franco? Please cast your vote.



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16 Comments


DJF42 said:
17 September 2020 @ 17:58

The take this cross down will be akin and aligning with the present attitude of a minority who wish to pull down statues because the person had something their lives that the protesters think is very wrong. When the protesters can show that they are whiter than white and are without sin then can they say about others, until then, keep quite and accept that it is history, it has happened and it can't be changed.


mestala said:
19 September 2020 @ 08:30

History is history,no matter whether good or bad,as above said,you cannot change it,no matter what..leave it be


Isabel said:
19 September 2020 @ 09:20

This article writer forgot to tell you, readers, thousands of remains of people who had been shot next to roads, outside cementeries and in the middle of nowhere were taken to Valley of the Fallen by Franco’s ordering without their families authorization. He did so when he started cleaning his international image to try and get accepted by the USA and the rest of democratic goverments. Many of the families discovered their relatives had been re-buried in the Valley years later. Meanwhile they had been showing respect in the places they thought their relatives were. So it’s not a nice place to remember
but a reminding of his power to disrespect whom he considered “enemies of España”. I think the cross he built (by the way, using political prisioners as slave workers to build up the whole place) must be demolished so we, Spanish, can start a real democracy. Final data: the basilica and all this place has cost us millions of €uros of public money every single year, even in democracy. So, please, yes, let’s finish with this far-right Franco fans place.


Doncolin said:
19 September 2020 @ 10:00

Well said, Isabel.



Neil lamont said:
19 September 2020 @ 10:07

Yes blow it up it is a sublet of a vile dictator who’s bone should have been buried underneath a gent urial as for the part the church played in the war was nothing short of being the anti Chris I am surprised the church still functions in beautiful expansive having read the masterpiece the ghost of Spain the most amusing chapter tells us that to this day in parts of Spain if a priest is sighted he gets a good kick up his arse. Blow it up viva expansion


Robert said:
19 September 2020 @ 10:13

Removing the monument would be wrong because despite the rights and the wrongs of the Franco era it would mean denying the countries past.
It’s no different to the BLM tearing down the statues of prominent Historical people connected to the slave trade in the UK and USA.
The monuments should stay so that people ask questions and ensure these events aren’t repeated.


natladsdad said:
19 September 2020 @ 10:43

You can not change history by removing symbols. Education is the only answer.


Peter said:
19 September 2020 @ 11:54

Now he is not there, the Government has taken a further step just this week. Their intention is to make the priests leave the priory and for it to become a civil burial ground. This now leads on to the next discussion, if they want the complex to be a civil burial ground what do you do with the cross?

The above says it all, It is to become a civil burial ground. Burying both Christians and others? One cannot have a massive cross casting its shadow over the resting place of people who follow the religion of peace and wish for world domination or else.


Steven j Skerritt said:
19 September 2020 @ 12:33

This cross has been there 60 years it should not be demolished just to satisfy all the Left-wingers including BLM


jamiemalone said:
19 September 2020 @ 13:03

What should be pulled down is this communist government. There is an upsurge of the corona virus in spain and all this government seem to be worried about is destroying Spain's history and having lots of fun time and holidays.

SHAME ON YOU SANCHEZ,SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR UNCARING GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Toolman2 said:
19 September 2020 @ 13:10

This is not going to be a decision that even the majority of people will agree to. Firstly, a structural survey should take place to ensure that should it remain, it will be safe. If it is very unsafe then the decision has been made. Secondly, Interested parties should formulate plans for what the site should be used for and by whom. Do not rule out religious use, I am a Humanist but I would still defend people's right to have a religion. If it is to be taken over by the church, then the church must pay for its upkeep, not the people who see the site as a lie to celebrate an evil dictator.


catmandu said:
19 September 2020 @ 13:19

All monuments like this should be allowed to stand but a full account of their origins and history should be displayed with them as a lesson to all in the future.
Nothing will be learnt from them by destroying them.
Those most deeply hurt by them should be the strongest supporters to keep them together with the lessons they give as a memorial.


Tim McGowan said:
19 September 2020 @ 15:12

It's not the cross that's the problem but the ideology that built it. Thankfully that's now been confined to history so the site and everything it stands for can be repatriated - in the sense that evil has been overcome. Removing the cross or the buildings won't change what actually happened but educating future generations will stop it ever happening again - and that's what really matters! Creating a general use for common burials can only enhance the sense of tranquility especially if the surrounding area is beautifully landscaped; thus the cross will be seen as a symbol for promoting peace, endurance and triumph of good over evil!


DaveK said:
19 September 2020 @ 16:06

Demolition will not erase an unpleasant part of Spanish history. The BBC here have no problem with the sculpture over the entrance of Broadcasting House by the incestuous paedophile Eric Gill.


migueldelnorte said:
20 September 2020 @ 15:11

The cross also serves as a memorial to those who built the complex. As these political prisoners were obviously not pro Franco, then to destroy it would desecrate their memory also. The destruction of historical artefacts and buildings in other parts of the world in recent years caused an international furore. Does Spain really want to joint the list of history's vandals by removing something that millions of visitors come from all over the world to view?


Finisterre said:
21 September 2020 @ 17:05

Ridiculous arguments here in support of a literal fascist dictator. His chum Hitler also claimed to be on the side of god - if he'd built this cross as a giant vanity project would you all be insisting it stayed up?

Polarisation in politics has reached a completely absurd point when we can't remove a mass-murderer's monument to himself because it might make some lefties happy. Don't you have a moral compass of your own? FFS.







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