Cuelgamuros is the continuation of dictatorship by other means. When the Spanish were dying of hunger, the dictator Franco was spending money Spain didn’t have to build a mausoleum, pay homage to his comrades, and seal the tale of his victory in the Civil War with a gigantic, 150-meter-high cross.
Franco, whose dictatorship was bent on exterminating his enemies, was obsessed with the Valley of the Fallen, visited its construction site repeatedly as if it were his own home, and made it a symbol of the victorious alliance of his regime and the Catholic Church. Thousands of Republicans lie there alongside those who ordered their deaths, and hundreds of Antifascist prisoners were condemned to forced labor in the Valley of the Fallen.
More than forty years after the rebirth of freedom in Spain, democracy still hasn’t touched this enormous, sad, and menacing monument to Francoism.