Valley of the Fallen
Valley of the Fallen
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Monuments & Statues
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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
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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 order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,658 reviews
Excellent
994
Very good
399
Average
160
Poor
44
Terrible
61

SteveK
Los Angeles, CA179 contributions
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 December 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kaylee
Paris, France296 contributions
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.

Ramona
Auckland Central, New Zealand617 contributions
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 July 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NikoliGogol
Edmonton, Canada1,791 contributions
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 March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ogi0
Sofia, Bulgaria18,999 contributions
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.

Thornton C
64 contributions
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.

Illiterati
St. George, UT29 contributions
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.

Laxey Girl
United Kingdom165 contributions
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.

wasabadger
Surrey, England133 contributions
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.

Robert Knauer
Vancouver, WA101 contributions
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.

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Valley of the Fallen (San Lorenzo de El Escorial) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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  • Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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