El Escorial was the dream and vision of King Felipe II to commemorate the greatness of the Spanish empire and to show eternal gratitude to God for blessings received. Two promenades through the Historic-Artistic Heritage of San Lorenzo de El Escorial show us to know the ins and outs of this ancient city:
The sixteenth century part of the city, where the monastery is located, exhibits a magnificent yet simple style.
The seventeenth century area includes the part of the city that grew thanks to the permission given by King Carlos III to modify the court area that now forms the old town.
Click to read more about the Monastery.
El Escorial is the place chosen by King Felipe II to commemorate his victory over the French. 500 years later it was also chosen by Franco to commemorate the memory of the fallen of both sides in the fratricidal Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). A huge monument was raised, not less in terms of size than the Monastery constructed by Felipe II. The highest Christian cross ever built can be spotted from the outskirts of Madrid more than 40 km away.
The basilica was built in the Sierra of Guadarrama between 1940 and 1958 and dead from both sides are buried there. Read More about the Valle de los Caídos.