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Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Listed under Churches & Abbeys in Madrid Region, Spain.

  • Photo of Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
  • Photo of Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Photo of Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
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'This huge granite fortress houses a wealth of paintings and tapestries and also serves as a burial place for Spanish kings. Foreboding both inside and out because of its sheer size and institutional look, El Escorial took 21 years to complete, a remarkably short time considering the bulk of the building and the primitive construction methods of the day.'


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Latin text (XVth century)beginning: "Incipit officium imaculate conceptionis marie ..."

Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid

Built at the end of the 16th century on a plan in the form of a grill, the instrument of the martyrdom of St Lawrence, the Escurial Monastery stands in an exceptionally beautiful site in Castile. Its austere architecture, a break with previous styles, had a considerable influence on Spanish architecture for more than half a century. It was the retreat of a mystic king and became, in the last years of Philip II's reign, the centre of the greatest political power of the time.

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