Valley of the Fallen
Valley of the Fallen
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksMonuments & 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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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,686 reviews
Excellent
1,018
Very good
402
Average
162
Poor
43
Terrible
61

Illiterati
St. George, UT32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
I am glad we went here. I read up on the history and shared with my family as we approached. Many members of my family were ready to get out of there after a while, with the heaviness taking its toll -- whether this is from the events and symbolism bearing a darkness, just a trick of the mind from the knowledge making you think you are feeling something, or the massive, dark, oppressive architecture and art achieving its affect. We were all glad we went, however, as the history seems important to study, and the architecture was indeed awesome (awesome in its traditional meaning) both inside and outside, where the cross being toyed with by the mist was mystic.
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kaylee
Paris, France499 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Friends
Very impressive location and monument, definitely worth a visit. Entrance was free when we visited on a Sunday afternoon as europeans. Unfortunately the little tram was closed because of covid.

Make sure you enter inside the church as its very different from any other church you’ll ever see.
Written June 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thornton C
57 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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 October 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ogi0
Sofia, Bulgaria22,684 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 May 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laxey Girl
United Kingdom161 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
It was stunning. We took a picnic and sat on the steps to admire the views. Inside it was amazing. It's history is clearly difficult to reconcile but it was built and would be equally difficult to pretend that it hadn't been built.

I think you could spend day's discovering and walking through the spectaular countryside but we just had the afternoon. So went inside and round to the monastery.

Well worth a visit. Check whether the cafe is open and prepare accordingly.
Written February 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Quill2005
Ocala, FL266 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
impressive engineering feat to have built this large monument where thousands are buried, victims of the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. The monumental cross atop is quite something, very moving. This monument, containing a large church inside a mountain, is located in the mountains outside of Madrid. You can easily visit the Valley of the Fallen on a tour combined with the nearby El Escorial monastery, a trip well worth it. Both are very different places, but should not be missed if possible, as both are important monuments connected to Spanish history.
Written April 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert Knauer
Vancouver, WA116 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wasabadger
Surrey, England220 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Couples
Visited on a weekday in May and had the place almost to ourselves. Atmospheric place. Silent outside apart from a lonely cuckoo. Inside the underground basilica the acoustics were incredible, the granite angels massive, powerful and awful. No question that this place is all about death. The sheer scale of the effort to create this huge space underground using forced labour was depressing. But very glad we came. This place will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommended.
Written May 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bryuzga
Moscow, Russia1,380 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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 February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MDOGP
Dallas, TX1,229 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Friends
I am not into politics. The Spanish Civil War was horrible, but this is a nice place built in a secluded area. The church is surrounded by mountains and pines. I was not thrilled with the idea of going to this valley, but when I went, I was so taken by the landscape! The valley is like a national park in the U.S.
The church is modern, but magnificent.
Written July 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Valley of the Fallen - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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