El Escorial is the historical residence of the king of Spain. It is also called the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. It is situated about 45 kilometers northwest of the main city of Madrid in Spain. It is one of the most important royal sites in Spain and houses a school, a monastery, a museum and the royal palace. From the town of El Escorial, it is located at a distance of about 2 kilometers up the hill. I debarked at the El Escorial town and then travelled on foot to the royal site.
Granjilla de La Fresneda and the royal monastery are the two important aspects of this place. These are the two architectural structures comprising the site and are of cultural and historical importance. The former is a royal hunting lodge and monastic retreat located about 5 kilometers away from the main area. The El Escorial is a prominent example of a monastery and a Spanish royal palace at the same time.
The monastery is now run under the Order of Saint Augustine. Juan Bautista de Toledo was the architect of this majestic royal site. This Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial was named a World Heritage Site in November 1984 by UNESCO. It is managed and governed by the Ministry of the Presidency.
I count myself among the 500,000 visitors that come to visit the site every year. Many day- trippers from Madrid also visit the monastery and the hunting lodge. This beautiful monument and cultural site is situated at the foot of Mt. Abantos. The main building’s foundation stone was laid in 1563.
The architect with his talented group of workers completed the construction in less than 21 years. It really is a man-made marvel carved at the seat of the majestic mountains. Courtyard of the Kings, Art gallery, Basilica, Palace of Phillip II, Architectural museum, Hall of battles, Pantheon of the Princes, Pantheon of the Kings, Garden of the Friars and the Library are the main constituents of this royal site.
I had fulfilled my taste for royalty with this place and embarked on the next journey to satisfy my other cravings.