The municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 60 kilometers northwest of the capital, has in its heritage the El Escorial monastery, declared in 1931 as a Historic-Artistic Monument and in 1984 as a Monument of World Interest by Unesco.
The complex, embraced by the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama and built between 1563 and 1584 by mandate of Philip II, houses in its interior numerous spaces of high historical, artistic and cultural value.
A good example are the rooms in the palatial quarters of the Habsburgs and Bourbons; the Library, with more than 6,000 manuscripts; the Courtyard of the Kings; the Royal Pantheons; or the Garden of the Friars, which serves as a viewpoint.
And as, the Basilica, which occupies the central part of the enclosure and around it the other dependencies are articulated. The temple was made by Juan de Herrera, and is one of the greatest jewels of Spanish Renaissance architecture.
This mountain town also brings together other attractions such as houses and buildings from the 16th and 18th centuries, designed and projected by Juan Villanueva, maximum exponent of the neoclassical architecture in Spain and architect also of Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
On its old town rises the Royal Coliseum Carlos III, and the Trade Houses that complete the pleasant visit through its cobbled streets.
Surrounded by the natural environment, this destination suggests visiting, on a granite rock located at the top of Mount Machota Alta, the Chair of Felipe II -from where it is said that the monarch contemplated the works of the Monastery-; and stroll through the Bosque de la Herrería, the Pinar de Abantos, or the Luis Ceballos Arboretum, an environmental education center that offers trails and guided itineraries.
And, to regain strength, the different restaurants please the palate with suggestions of traditional mountain cuisine such as Madrid stew or roast meat with D.O. Guadarrama.
Other World Heritage Sites in Madrid:
Alcala de Henares
Images: Stock Photos - By KarlSol and John_Silver on Shutterstock
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