Source: “Historia del Palacio de la Isla de Burgos (1883-12010)” de Isaac Rilova Pérez


He was born in Ferrol on 4th December 1892. In 1907, at the age of 14, he began a meteoric military career that culminated in his appointment as lieutenant colonel by Sanjurjo for his work in Melila.

Before leaving Morocco, on January 11, 1923, the commander general of Melilla imposed the “Individual Military Medal” on Franco in a ceremony in which the three flags of the Legion were present. When he returned to the Peninsula to join his old regiment in Oviedo. On October 13, 1923, he married Carmen Polo.

Franco and his wife at the Palacio de la Isla. 1964. (Archivo Fotográfico Fede)

In the midst of a democratic political regime incapable of improving the situation in the country, on September 13, 1923, General Primo de Rivera carried out a ‘coup d’état’, which triumphed and led to a dictatorship that would last until 1930. Later, in 1931, the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed.

Although Franco did not sympathize with the Republic, he agreed with the right-wing government established after the 1933 elections. However, the corruption of this government was evident years later and the 1936 elections gave victory to the Popular Front, a coalition of leftist parties. Faced with this situation, Franco saw his opportunity to lead a ‘coup d’état‘ that would end up leading to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the establishment of the Franco dictatorship until 1975, the year of Franco’s death.

Palacio de la Isla. Franco’s office. (Archivo Fotográfico Villafranca)

During the Civil War (1936-1939), the “Palacio de la Isla” became the residence of the “Caudillo”. On the ground floor were located the offices of the “Generalísimo” and his assistants, the waiting room, the dining room and the house’s services.

On the first floor, were placed the Franco family’s rooms, the dressing rooms, a living room and the bathroom. At the top, the General Staff had its offices.

He lived in the Palace from August 10, 1037 to October 18, 1939, with his family and the family of his brother-in-law, Ramón Serrano Súñer, married to Zita Polo Martínez-Valdés.

Official War Report. April 1, 1939. Solemn version. (Colecc. C. Sainz Varona)

On April 1, 1939, the last report of war was  signed by Franco himself. With its reading on Radio Castilla (now Radio Nacional de España) the war was over.

When the war ended, the Franco family moved to Madrid, where they had their habitual residence, but the Town Hall and the Provincial Council of Burgos, organizations that had acquired the Palace from Muiguiro’s widow on June 5, 1939, wanted to give it to him. Finally, it was decided that the Palace would serve as a temporary residence during his stays in Burgos, which were frequent until 1961. Franco died in Madrid on November 20, 1975.