World's Most Controversial Monuments
Marian Gurry Stanton
Valley of the Fallen, Spain
Dictator Francisco Franco ordered the construction of this monument outside Madrid to honor those who died for his cause during the 1930s Spanish Civil War. And he enlisted political prisoners to carve the massive basilica into a mountainside—infuriating many Spaniards. After years of demonstrations and debate, in May 2011, the government assembled a commission to evaluate its future. Its initial recommendation calls for Franco’s body to be removed from the site.