Royal Monastery of El Escorial – A Majestic and Mysterious Wonder

As I start writing about the Royal Monastery of El Escorial, my mind is immediately filled with intrigue and fascination. It’s a place that has stood the test of time, a mystifying monument of the Spanish monarchy that echoes with tales of grandeur and secrecy.

What is the Royal Monastery of El Escorial?

Once the sanctum of the Spanish Royals, the Royal Monastery of El Escorial is now open to the general public, offering an experience that’s both intriguing and enlightening. Before delving into the history, let’s paint a picture of what you can expect when you visit El Escorial.

The exterior of this majestic wonder stands tall and proud, with its intricate archways and intricate details. The interior is no less awe-inspiring, with grand halls and a prestigious library. The monastery also houses the Pantheon of the Kings, a grand and gilded chamber that holds the remains of Spanish monarchs, including Philip II or Felipe II.

Let’s talk about the history

The Royal Monastery of El Escorial was built in the 16th century, a time when the Spanish Empire was at its peak. Philip II created this impressive building as a permanent residence for the Spanish King. The building was also created in honor of the saint San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence), who was martyred by Romans by being burned alive on a hot gridiron. The gridiron-fan inspired the eliptic plan of the building, but also to the oval courtyard, the oculus in the Basilica and the lamps in the crypt.

The construction of the monastery took around 21 years, and it’s said that the building cost an astronomical amount of money. However, considering the way that the Spanish monarchy was operating at the time, it’s not surprising that no expense was spared.

What can you expect while visiting the Royal Monastery of El Escorial?

As you walk through the halls of El Escorial, you’ll notice how well-curated the museum rooms are. Countless pieces of art, from sculptures to paintings, have been preserved with utmost care. There is a guide which takes you in a journey to know the history and curiosities of the monastery.

One of the most interesting things to see at the Royal Monastery of El Escorial is the Pantheon of the Kings. It’s here where the Spanish monarchs, including Charles II and Phillip II, were buried with family members. The décor of this chamber alone is enough to take your breath away, with the walls and ceilings adorned with gold.

Why should you visit the Royal Monastery of El Escorial?

The Royal Monastery of El Escorial is a must-visit destination in Spain for anyone interested in history, art, and culture. It’s a place where the mysteries and secrets of the Spanish monarchy are still palpable. Nothing quite transports you back in time as much as walking the hallways of this glorious building.

It’s not just the monastery itself that you can explore, either. The surrounding landscape of El Escorial is equally as impressive, offering breathtaking views from the mountain that rises behind the edification.

In conclusion

Visiting the Royal Monastery of El Escorial is an experience like no other. Here you’ll immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Spain’s monarchy. With its grandiose architecture and impressive artwork, the Royal Monastery is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Spanish monarchy. So why not make it a point to visit the Royal Monastery of El Escorial on your next trip to Spain? You won’t regret it.

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