“It made me laugh because I thought it was funny … Of course, I said ‘no,’” Gómez said.
The guesthouse, which opened in 1958, includes a restaurant, 126 bedrooms, a gym, a chapel, a valuable library (usually closed to the public), and several lounges. It is often used as a retreat house by different religious communities, movements, and diocesan priests from across the country.
In addition to the guesthouse, the precinct includes a boarding school for boys centered on teaching Gregorian music and an abbey — all three adjacent to the underground basilica carved inside a mountain under the world’s largest cross. The monument is surrounded by 3,360 acres of woodland, which is home to wildlife, including roe deer, squirrels, foxes, and boars.
“I had only seen squirrels in cartoons, never in real life, until I came here,” Gómez said. “The people who lived in (the Valley’s) village used to hand-feed foxes. They also gave food to the wild boars.”
Changes under the new law
The government’s Democratic Memory Law entered into force on Oct. 21. One of the changes includes renaming the “Valle de los Caídos” (Valley of the Fallen) to “Valle de Cuelgamuros” (Valley of the Hanging Walls). The government’s agency running the precinct with the Benedictine monks up until now, Patrimonio Nacional, has already changed the sign at the main entrance to its new name.
The original name was “Pinar de Cuelga Moros,” which means “Pine Forest of Hanging Moors.”
Meanwhile, the region of Madrid — currently led locally by the conservative People’s Party — may declare the Valley as a “Bien de Interés Cultural” to be a “good of cultural interest,” a good in the economic sense.
The region’s local government has proposed a cultural heritage law. If approved, the law’s article 73c would mean creating a new protection for ethnographic heritage assets. But the new law, expected to be discussed and approved by May 2023, would possibly only protect the world’s largest cross and not the basilica.
It may not prevent the Benedictine monks from being kicked out, or the boarding choir school and guesthouse from being closed under the new decree currently being elaborated to establish the precinct’s new legal framework.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we’ll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won’t rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
The Democratic Memory Law has now extinguished the “Fundación de la Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos” — the Foundation of the Holy Cross of the Valley of the Fallen, jointly owned up until now by both the government’s agency Patrimonio Nacional and the Benedictine monks, who reside at the site’s abbey. The foundation was in charge of operating the whole precinct.
The monks are seeking donations for their work on their website.
Credit: Source link