The Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, commonly known as 'El Escorial', was the political centre of an empire under the direction of a mystic king, Philip II. Its pantheon is the last residence of Spanish grandees: Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the majority of his descendants, the kings of Spain from the houses of Austria and the Bourbons. It still houses the royal palace of the Habsburgs, a magnificent art gallery, a gigantic humanist library (45,000 volumes), a basilica, and French gardens.
Commissioned by Philip II, the monastery was completed under the direction of the architect Juan de Herrera, in full, severe, herreriano Renaissance style. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, El Escorial is representative of Flemish architecture, with its slate roofs and pointed towers. The palace-monastery, a symbol of the famous Spanish Golden Age (between the 16th and 17th centuries), is 50 minutes away from Madrid by car, bus or train from the Atocha station.
San Lorenzo del Escorial
Avenida Juan de Borbón y Battemberg 1
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
+34 918 90 50 11