Hundreds of Spaniards nostalgic for the nation's fascist dictatorship have gathered in a Madrid square on Sunday to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Francisco Franco's death.

A few hundred people turned out Sunday despite light rain at the outdoor rally in the Spanish capital organized by fringe right-wing parties. They sang songs and waved old flags from Franco's four-decade reign that ended when he died in 1975, aged 83.

Franco's forces won the 1936-1939 civil war to overthrow Spain's democratically elected government with the help of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.

On Saturday, protestors rallied at Franco's giant mausoleum north of Madrid, demanding that it become a memorial site for the anti-fascist struggle during the civil war.