San Lorenzo de El Escorial (also San Lorenzo del Escorial) is a town about 45 km from Madrid in Spain.
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, the city's main attraction is the world famous Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, (El Escorial for short) , a World Heritage Site, that was the political centre of the Spanish empire under King Philip II. It is often visited as a day-trip from Madrid, however it's also a good place to spend 2 or 3 nights so you can visit the surrounding countryside.
- Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial: A World Heritage Site, El Escorial was the center of the empire of King Philip II. Originally commissioned as mausoleum for his father Charles V, when building completed in 1584 the grounds included a basilica-church, monastery, royal household and library. The pantheon contains Phillips remains and those of his parents, Charles V and the Empress Isabel of Portugal. The Basilica contains two great cenotaphs, one on either side of the high altar: to the right, that of the founder, King Philip II; and to the left that of the Emperor Charles V. They are accompanied by members of their families. The sculptor Pompeyo Leoni was responsible for the gilt bronze statues in the two royal groups, as well as those of the reredos behind the high altar.. You can visit the official website here.
- A general view of the Monastery].