Franco Exhumed from the Valley of the Fallen

Sometimes I love it when an episode of Rick Steves’ Europe goes out of date. And that just happened with my Majesty of Madrid episode. Francisco Franco, the fascist dictator of Spain, was long buried in the vast, underground Valley of the Fallen memorial, along with thousands of his victims. And now, his remains have finally been removed from that site, so sacred to Spaniards.

Federico García Barroso, one of our tour program’s wonderful Spanish guides, sent me this note:

Dear Rick,
November 25th 1975: Generalisimo Franco is buried at the Valley of the Fallen.
October 24th 2019: The dictator is finally expelled out.
People from Madrid, we were the last ones to surrender in the Spanish Civil War. Today, people from Madrid, we are the first ones to tell the world that Spanish democracy is now healthier.
Hugs from Madrid,

Below, you can watch the part of my Madrid episode that is, thankfully, now out of date. (This clip is also available in Rick Steves Classroom Europe, my free — and ad-free — searchable database of short video clips about European art, history, and culture.)

Viva España! Viva Freedom! Viva Democracy.