Situated 9 km north of the palace of El Escorial in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range, the site claims to be a memorial to the dead of both sides in the Spanish Civil War. However, the tone of the monument is distinctly Nationalist; its construction was ordered by Francisco Franco, who is entombed there along with his mentor José Antonio Primo de Rivera, and was carried out by slave workers, mainly Republican prisoners of war.
The complex includes a Benedictine monastery and an underground basilica including the tombs of Franco and Primo de Rivera. Above the basilica rises an enormous cross, reputedly the largest in the world, which is visible for miles along the road from Madrid to Segovia.
The complex may be visited by bus leaving from the entrance to the Escorial.