[en] Francisco Franco ; tourism, Valley of the Fallen ; transition
[en] In this article, a discourse analysis is presented of the tourist guides published by the ‘Patrimonio Nacional’ or National Heritage, charged with the administration and preservation of the Spanish royal sites. The analysis focuses on the guides published during the Franco era and the transition. These guides portray Spain as a nation with a deep-seated monarchist tradition, which was however usurped by the ‘decadent’ Borbon dynasty. At the same time the figure of Franco is subtly associated with the monarchy and somehow inserted in the royal imagery, both on the iconographical and textual levels. Most radically, two sites which bear no relationship with the monarchy – the Palacio de la Isla in Burgos and the Valley of the Fallen – are discursively incorporated in the royal heritage. By creating a link between Franco and the monarchist tradition, the regime attempted to enhance its legitimacy. Franco’s semi-regal status assured that his rise to power was viewed not so much as a result of a chance occurrence of circumstances but rather as a preordained succession. In the guides published during the transition, the association between Franco and the monarchy is still present, but the ideology is hidden behind a more historic discourse, a result of which Franco appears as a half forgotten historic figure.