Spain’s divisive Civil War era pyramid to be toppled as critics argue it glorifies fascism

Spain’s Pirámide de los Italianos divides opinion as a symbol of fascism or as a vital part of history, but it will now be demolished. Photo credit: Basotxerri /

THE only pyramid in Spain is reportedly set to be demolished under the country’s democratic memory law. The decision to knock down the ‘Pirámide de los Italianos’, near Burgos, was announced in a drive to remove Franco-era constructions.

The 20 metre stone pyramid was erected 83 years ago by Francoist troops to pay homage to the nearly 400 Italian soldiers who died fighting Republican forces during the Battle of Santander during the Spanish Civil War.

The then-newly inaugurated dictator, Franco, used slave labour from Republican prisoners to build the mausoleum in Puerto del Escudo, a town on the border between Burgos and Cantabria. The pyramid was constructed over a mass grave of the buried Italian soldiers.

Since the end of the dictatorship the pyramid has polarised public opinion with some saying the structure is no longer a symbol of fascism, especially since the Italian soldiers’ remains were removed in the 1970s. The Italian government also shared concern “Why erase history with the stroke of a brush, wouldn’t it be better to remember this war so that it is never repeated?”

However critics argue that the pyramid glorifies fascism and the country’s former dictatorship.