Valley of the Fallen

Valley of the Fallen, San Lorenzo de El Escorial: Hours, Address, Valley of the Fallen Reviews: 4.5/5

Valley of the Fallen
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Monuments & Statues
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
The Valley of the Fallen is a Spanish monumental complex built between 1940 and 1958 and located in the valley of Cuelgamuros, in the municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in the Community of Madrid. It is located in the Sierra de Guadarrama, 9.5 km north of the monastery of El Escorial.
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4.5
1,632 reviews
Excellent
981
Very good
390
Average
158
Poor
42
Terrible
61

Ogi0
Sofia, Bulgaria14,355 contributions
A must visit if you are interested in History
May 2021
A huge monumental complex built by Franco after the Second World War. I am from Eastern Europe, but I have not seen such monumental buildings. It consists of an abbey and a huge stone cross built by prisoners. Below the cross is a huge cathedral dug into the mountain. It can be reached by car, as the entrance is a few kilometers from the Cross.
The entire complex is located a few kilometers from the El Escorial Monastery, and admission is free for EU citizens.
There were no people during our visit, and the hotel area near the cross and the road to the cross itself were closed.
Written 9 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SteveK
Los Angeles, CA33 contributions
Must-see if you’re into history
Nov 2020
Monument is a must-see if you’re into history. Tougher sell if you’re not. I visited 27 Nov 2020. Here is the information current as of that date that I used to reach site via public transportation.

From Madrid, there is a bus from Moncloa Bus Station that drops off right at the Valley of the Fallen main entrance gate (see photos: outbound bus schedule for bus route 664, inbound bus schedule for same bus; bus fares). At the main entrance gate is a sign with admission prices and hours (see photo). You pay whether you drive in or walk in. The price is usually nine euros but this was discounted 50% when I visited (pandemic rate?). Main entrance has a small building where you pay for your ticket.

Staff told me the walk to the monument from this entrance gate was six kilometers. It turned out to be 5.1 kilometers by road to the base of the monument (front of basilica). The road is inclined most of the way, total elevation gain from entrance gate to monument is 291 meters. Too bad there is no shuttle.
Written 3 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Thornton C
60 contributions
Look up most of the time, but don't fail to look down at the size indicators in the stones beneath your feet.
Oct 2020
With a weekend off from work in Madrid, I rented a car and drove the 28 miles out to the Valley of the Fallen. If you can enjoy the construction of the underground cathedral despite its having been built by workers forced by Franco to build the enormous structure, it is quite a phenomenal site. Many years after my visit in 1969, I am surprised to find no review mentioning, much less complaining about, the construction's boasting about its size. In the center aisle, far from the altar you can spot brass lines and measurements embedded in the stone floor. There is one at each of the points comparing that point to the length of the largest above-ground cathedrals. Many consider it improper bragging about the size of the room you are in, but it does provide a good ideas of how large the carved space in which you are standing really is. The entire construction is incredible. Don't focus on all of the elegant carving that looms far above you and miss examining the distance indications at you feet.
Written 19 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ramona
Auckland Central, New Zealand410 contributions
Surprising and beautiful
Jul 2020
A truly remarkable area. You can see the cross from a distance and it is just as beautiful up close. We went in July, which is when it would usually be packed. However, since they removed Franco and we are still in the pandemic, we were there with possible 10 other people. The underground church is absolutely exquisite. You would never except to see something so beautiful tucked away in a mountain. Everyone respected social distancing, everyone had masks and there was hand sanitizer available inside. The roads are beautiful to drive down and everything is extremely well kept.
Written 21 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

michael B
Brooklyn, NY58 contributions
A Tribute to those lost in War
Nov 2019
We took a day trip from Madrid to Escorial to see the Valley fo the Dead monument . 2 weeks before we took the tour [ too difficult to do on your own] we saw on the news that the Dictator Franco's body had been removed form its resting place .
We felt the Monument and its History were well worth the trip.
Written 18 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

NikoliGogol
Edmonton, Canada1,791 contributions
Unexpected and Impressive
Aug 2019
We chanced on this complex on our way to Madrid. We hired a guide but did not expect what we would see.

This complex is dedicated to the casualties of the Spanish Civil War, Republican and Nationalist alike. There is a cross almost 500 feet tall visible for miles.

Built into the side of a mountain is a basilica and a mausoleum. The basilica was constructed so large that it was found to be larger than any Vatican church. So as not to overshadow Rome, a divider was constructed so that there is an antechamber limiting the size of the basilica.

The construction is quite stark and solemn.

A few warnings about a visit here. You are searched on entry and not allowed to take interior photographs. There is a gift shop in the structure. I had left my wallet in the vehicle and was told that I would not be permitted to reenter the basilica.

Your guide may have a point of view favouring one side or the other in the Civil War. Our guide seemed harsh towards the Nationalists. Another guide told us after the fact the our original guide lost family on the Republican side, that there were atrocities committed by both sides, and that many Spaniards hold a strong view about one side or the other.

This is a site well worth visiting. I was left deeply moved and impressed.
Written 8 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BernieH001
Ennis, Ireland131 contributions
Impressive and disturbing
Feb 2020 • Friends
We stopped here on our way from Toledo to Segovia and were impressed by the enormous scale of the monument. You drive in approx 5km from the entrance gate and are assaulted by the sheer enormity of this place. The huge granite cross built on the mountain (apparently the largest in the world), the Pieta and the enormous basilica. There is something eerie and disturbing about the entirely underground basilica built into the mountain and the gigantic angles watching over everyone. The Valley is the resting place for over 40,000 people who perished during the civil war and up until recently also was home to Franco's grave.
Unfortunately no information is available at the monument so do your research before you arrive. This is well worth a trip from Madrid.
Written 17 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bryuzga
Moscow1,424 contributions
Beautiful and solemn
Jan 2020
Beautiful, solemn and tragic place.
Magnificent structure. Huge basilica cut inside a mountain. An attempt at reunification of the Civil War victims and memories.
It is to Spanish people to decide whether it is a success or not.
For a foreigner it is really a magnificent monument.
Written 7 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LoveToTravelTerrie
Frisco, TX1,238 contributions
It's hard not to feel some emotion when you visit
Dec 2019
I visited the Valley with a guided day trip out of Madrid. I found this helpful photo tip on this TripAdvisor site! Once inside the gates of the property, the bus crossed a bridge. This was the only place where we could see the huge cross unobstructed. If you wish to photograph this cross then be sure to be on the right hand side of the bus (not behind the driver). There were places to photograph the cross at the actual site although the photo would be a bit distorted being so close to it. Inside was a solemn site with no photography allowed. It was very well done. The spot where Franco had been had a different color marble (newer, shiny) than the rest of the marble if interested in knowing where he was buried. It was pretty obvious to see. Docents were present making sure visitors were respectful and preventing photos from being taken.
Written 23 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Robert Knauer
Vancouver, WA97 contributions
A Cross of Gigantic Proportions
May 2019
While visiting Madrid, we took a day and visited the Valley of the Fallen and El Escorial. We were overwhelmed with the size of the cross at the Valley of the Fallen. it is nearly 500 tall and can be see for miles. A visit to the Basilica that was cut from the side of the mountain below the cross was equally awe inspiring. While the history associated with General Francisco Franco, has not been kind to him and his deeds were not kind, the Valley of the Fallen, that he oversaw is very impressive. We visited the Basilica in May of 2019 and Franco's body was still entombed there. His body was moved to Madrid in October, 2019.
Written 19 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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