‘Unity, stability, continuity’: heritage and the renovation of Franco’s dictatorship in Spain, 1957–1969
International Journal of Heritage Studies
Spain between 1957 and 1969 – the period in the history of the dictatorial regime of General Francisco Franco known as desarrollista (development‐guided) – presents a peculiar case of a state‐driven heritage industry. The present article examines the desarrollista policy aimed at creating and coordinating heritage tourism, focusing on periodical publications, official speeches, films and promotional materials. It looks at late‐Francoist heritage as a vehicle for achieving, simultaneously, an ideological and an economic effect. Economically, heritage was conceived as a tool for diversifying and individualising Spain’s tourism product in the Mediterranean market, and above all, for confronting the uneven territorial and seasonal distribution of ‘sun and beach tourism’. At the same time, ideologically, the models and uses of heritage examined here served the regime’s interest in securing the country’s territorial unity, maintaining the high profile of the Catholic Church, and re‐legitimising the Civil War (1936–1939) which had brought Franco to power.