An idea to remove the five metre high cross in Órgiva’s Plaza de la Alpujarra has gathered pace. Erected in the late 1950s and known as `The Cross of the Fallen’ it commemorates victims of the Spanish Civil War – but those who were on Franco’s side.
At a recent town hall meeting a majority of councillors voted for its removal as the cross ‘(is) a symbol of Franco’s repression and must comply with the Historical Memory Law’.
The law, and specifically article 32, basically says that anything which celebrates the military coup of 1936 – be it memorials, street names and so on – should no longer exist. That’s why you often see Calle Libertad (Liberty Street) in many Spanish towns and cities that once were named after Franco.
The base of the cross used to have a plaque reading ‘To the fallen for God and Country’ but someone removed it in the 1980s.
It’s now down to the Junta de Andalcía to agree its permanent removal from this popular part of town. The idea is to turn the space into a children’s playground which makes sense as it’s right next to a road and car park entrance.
We guess, like most people, we’ve sat next to the cross munching on some fried whitebait not knowing the reason it was put there in the first place. We do now and think a bunch of swings and children having fun will be a whole lot nicer.
Órgiva, and the area in general, certainly played its part during the war. For example, the Seven Eyes Bridge was partially blown up (the end nearest the present day bar).
The cross appears in the film in this earlier post where writer Chris Stewart, of this parish, first meets the interviewer in Plaza de la Alpujarra.
More about the Historical Memory Law on Wiki.
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