There are two ways that we could describe El Escorial. We could talk about for its architectural feat describing all of its windows, doors, etc. (and believe me there are plenty and some of them are beyond amazing!); or we could talk about its history and what it represents the Madrid, Castille, Spain, and the world as a whole. We will try to attempt both, but if there is one thing we advise you is that no matter how many pages we filled with words, NOTHING compares to seeing it for yourself!
El Escorial is found 50 Km northwest of Madrid (dont worry it is very easy to get there whether by train or bus. A three part fortress/monument (a palace, a monastery and one of the best stocked libraries in the world and it), it commands the town and the neighboring region for its impressive structure covering a rectangular area of over 30,000 square meters. OK! Just to give you an idea, El Escorial has 9 towers, 9 organs, 16 patios, 73 statues, 86 sets of stairs, 88 fountains, 300 cells, 1,200 widows (told ya!), more than 1,600 paintings, 2673 doors, and we did not tell you all (we would not spoil the surprise).
Its history is just as impressive. Built to honor San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence) after having defeated the French on that day (August 10th, 1557), King Philip II charged his scholars to find a place to build it. This happened to be a plateau where a poor small village lay. Five years later construction began, and the town and the Castle/monastery has undergone many political and demographic changes; beginning with the ruling that the town was given the title of Villa and was carved out of the jurisdiction of Segovia, to which it belonged.
|But we still have not began to touch the surface of this magnificent structure and what it represents. Come and see the Kings and Queens private rooms; walk through the halls and stairs where decisions of conquest, war, treaties and peace were forged. See the royal mausoleum, where each king and queen since Philip II has been buried, as well as the mausoleum of the princes and the infantes. Walk into the church and see the splendor. Go into the library and you will be amazed at the volumes, not only for their quantity or art work, but for the breath that they do represent in knowledge.|
El Escorial was built with the idea to maintain the simetry and austerity, while showing forth might and power of the crown of Spain under divine guidance. At the entrance of the Patio of the Kings, the antechamber of eternity, sculptures of the Kings of Judea who brought Israel back to the service of God preside in a majestic reminder.
We hope that you begin to see what we meant at the beginning when we told you words cannot describe what El Escorial represents or is. It is just a must see. You cannot begin to have an idea of what this monument represents to humanity, and humanity because many decisions with have had great impact in Europe and America were forged here!! Live history! WE know for a fact that once you see El Escorial, you will see the world with a changed attitude. It will humble and yet thrill you, and once youve seen it for yourself, youll feel renewed!
Check the Museums of San Lorenzo del Escorial
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