Graveyards for Franco

Franco’s family have so far rejected a cemetery designed to host Falangist heroes; Águeda (Salamanca) wants the tomb for its tourist potential

The grandchildren of Francisco Franco will have two weeks to say where they want the remains of the dictator to be buried once he is exhumed from Valle de los Caídos before December, but the options in Madrid are limited. Although the first option, rejected by family spokesperson and grandson, was the Cemetery of Mingorrubio in El Pardo, where his wife, Carmen Polo is buried, the Almudena Cathedral has a crypt where his daughter Carmen rests and which can receive the remains of the dictator because he meets the health requirement of being embalmed.

The neo-Romanesque Almudena crypt is a space separated from the cathedral and accessed by a door at the end of the Calle Mayor. It is not well known and receives few visitors. The last news to be published regarding the crypt was the announcement that the ashes of Carmen Franco Polo would be placed their following her death at almost 91 years of age. As the Almundena is in the centre of Madrid, there are specific requirements for burials in place with only ashed or embalmed bodies allowed.

More logical is the burial ground at Mingorrubio, north of the Spanish capital which was in fact designed to be the repository of the Francoist hierarchies. The family have rejected this on unsupported grounds of a lack o security.

There are other willing takers outside the capital that would be happy to give Franco a final resting place. The Aravaca cemetery already holds the remains of prominent Falangist figures and Germán Florido, Mayor of Águeda (Salamanca), hopes his village can accommodate the tomb for its tourist potential.

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