The Pyramid of the Shield is an Italian monument located at the top of the Puerto del Escudo mountain pass dedicated to Mussolini’s legionaries who fought against Spanish brigades from Santander and Asturias and Basque troops in the Spanish civil war.
Known locally as “El cementerio de los italianos”, it lies in ruins, partially dismantled in a meadow owned by the Italian State on the road that connects the mountains of Burgos with those of Cantabria. It is based on the fascist architecture loved by Mussolini featuring a slender concrete pyramid erected on a Shield with a huge M in the frame of the door.
“Here the legionaries who fell for the cause of Spain and its civilization rest in glory,” is inscribed on one wall of the pyramid.
It housed 384 corpses until 1975 when the Italian Government decided to exhume the bodies, after a military bus with fifty relatives who had arrived from Rome to visit the cemetery drove off the road and 12 of them died.