Valley of the Fallen

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The Valley of the Fallen

by Mary Schrack

The Valley of the Fallen, inaugurated by Francisco Franco in 1959, rests in the Cuelgamuros Valley outside of Madrid. Its structure boasts of a cross 150 m high, a crypt 262 m into the mountain, and a dome 33 m in diameter. Several common graves, both of Republican and Nationalist soldiers, lie beside the bodies of Franco and the founder of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera. Catholic Masses take place here every Sunday as there is a Benedictine Abbey on the other side of the cross as the entrance to the crypt.

Fuencarral Cemetery

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Fuencarral Cemetery

by Alex Wright

During the battle of Madrid, the International Brigades played an ever increasing role in the defense. The largest brigades that were stationed in the Madrid area of operations were the 11th, 12th and 13th Brigades. These three units were key in prolonging the battle for Madrid, and had many casualties as a result of the intense fighting. By the 24th of November 1936, the 11th Brigade had lost 1230 casualties, with 900 dead, and the 12th Brigade had suffered 700 deaths. Because of the massive losses, the 11th Brigade was actually incorporated into the 12th in order to once again create a complete command.

Almudena Cemetery

W&M at Almudena

Almudena Cemetery

by Nathan Hoback

The size of Almudena Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Madrid, perfectly reflects the scope of its contents, containing more graves than there are citizens in the city. However, there is definite evidence of who were the victors and losers of the Spanish Civil War, something Francisco Franco made well-known throughout his dictatorship. Click to read more…

Carabanchel Prison

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Carabanchel Prison

by Mary Schrack

Carabanchel Prison was built on the outskirts of Madrid during the first years of the Franco dictatorship. Inaugurated in 1944, its purpose was to remove political prisoners from the Porlier prison in Madrid’s downtown center. It include a women’s prison, children’s center and hospital. Built by Franco’s political prisoners, Carabanchel Prison was designed as a star with 8 arms “radiating out of an eye that never closed.” The prison was designed so that each prisoner would feel like s/he was being watched at all times. It could hold up to two thousand inmates which included political prisoners, as well as petty criminals like pickpockets, and homosexuals.

Battlefronts of Madrid

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Battlefronts of Madrid

by Alex Wright

The Spanish Civil war is always thought of as a war of ideology, and indeed it was for the majority of the passionate soldiers that fought in it, however after our guided tour with Antonio Morcillo Lopez, the president of the Group for the Studies of the Madrid Front, there is a factor that I had never considered before, but one which made perfect sense, this is the theme of profit. Soldiers that fight for ideology are a common idea in the United States, this mostly due to the fact that an E2 Private First Class in the Marine Corps can expect to make just a little more than 20,000 dollars a year, hence he better be fighting for his beliefs. The fact that Señor López pointed out very effectively was that for some of the soldiers, especially those foreigners that had no particular attachment to a cause, money was a huge factor in choosing one´s side in the war.