Posted by: meganlpiper | July 30, 2009

La Escorial y Valle de Los Caidos

Valle de Los Caidos

Valle de Los Caidos

Since our finals are 2/3 of the way complete, I thought I would catch up on all of my blogs. We do only have three days left here. I do not like the idea of leaving and going home to only remember the trip. I will never be able to just jet over and do this kind of thing again, what an interesting thought. Anyway, Ill share with you our field trip from last Friday- maybe I can also give you a little history on the places.

La Escorial: This is an interesting place. It is a historical residence of the King of Spain. It also serves as a monestary, a royal palace, a library, and a museum. It also holds the caskets of all of the Kings and Queens of Spain in a tomb, it was very interesting! We walked through the building on a tour, and then we spent time outside in the blustering wind! It was terribly windy, and we all have pictures of the group outside of the building. It was our last field trip of the trip, and everyone has been taking more pictures.

Inside the Basilica of Valle de los Caidos, an angel statue

Inside the Basilica of Valle de los Caidos, an angel statue

Picnic: We had a picnic in the area around our next stop, the Valle de los Caidos. We had our picnic lunches that our Senoras packed for us that morning. I had two ham and cheese sandwiches and an orange. I also had a bottle of water and a pineapple grape juice box, which I do not like very much. The best part of my lunch was the snack size bag of oreos that my fiance mailed me from home. Nothing like a healthy lunch of oreos and sandwiches.

Valle of los Caidos: The Valley of the Fallen is a Basilica (church) that also memorializes the National war victims of Spain. There are said to be thousands buried there, in the valley. There is also a cross that is the world’s largest free standing cross, very impressive when you see it in person. This place is also very controversial. Franco was the dictator that had it built, and his reign in Spain was one that has been scrutinized for his cruelty. The church inside does not feel like most churches, it is built into the side of the mountain, and is almost like a cave. Our Professor does not like to go into it because of the controversy surrounding its construction. It was built by political war prisoners, some of which died in the process of building it. It is a magnificently constructed building, but the overshadowing history gives you an ominous feeling not necessarily associated with a Basilica. Once outside, we climbed to the top of the mountain to go to the base of the cross. It was closed for renovations, so naturally we all just jumped the fence…the three fences with signs saying do not enter to be exact. There wasnt any apparent danger at the top though, just a good view. We made our way back down to the bottom with many more pictures and experience in the history of Spain.

Study Abroad Segovia 2009

Study Abroad Segovia 2009

It was a great last field trip. We learned a lot about an interesting piece of history, while also having a good time hanging out and taking pictures. Of all of our field trips. I think I liked the trips to the Museums the best, but this one was definitely in the running.

~M

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