Madrid travel guide


Madrid Travel Guide

El Escorial

Felipe II ordered construction of these startling austere, grandiose, granite structures. The monastery, church and palace melt in a framework of courtyards, corridors and rooms forming a rectangular block crowned by four towers with pointed spires on each one of the corners, offsetting the horizontal lines.

Also noteworthy is the basilica, topped by a 92 meter dome and paintings on the vaults by Lucas Jordán. Along the walls there are 43 altars with painted altarpieces and the main chapel of the nave concentrates the greatest decorative treasure of the church. The Patio de los Reyes, which precedes the basilica, is a solemn rectangular courtyard where the bareness of the walls contrasts with the truly royal grandeur of the front façade.

– Palaces. In those occupied by the Hapsburgs, the Sala de las Batallas decorated with frescoes is worthy of special mention. Outstanding among the palaces are the sumptuous rooms belonging to the Bourbons, decorated with luxurious tapestries and Pompeyan ceilings.

– Chapterhouses. Works by El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Titian and Bosch, along with paintings from the 16th century Venetian School, can be admired.


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