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“Stunning”

Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We chose to stay in San Lorenzo as a stopover from Antequera to Bilbao. It was a last minute choice so we didn't research the place at all. What a surprise....the monastery is jaw dropping...it's the most imposing building I've seen in ages. We spent a lovely evening in the nearby square and most of the next day touring the exhibitions and grounds. Defiantly worth a visit..highly recommended.

Thank winnie77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 10, 2013

The complex is a very impressive site. We paid the extra and took the English language tour - well worth the extra as it included additional rooms and a very knowledgable guide. Three hours is about the right amount of time to spend there. Be sure to see the basilica and the library. Bags and backpacks must be left in the cloakroom, so you need to have a 1 euro coin handy. The coin will be returned to you upon collecting your belongings.

Thank Andrea T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

The monastery is really something! Old seat of the spanish monarchy, it is the place where all the spanish kings are burried, and besides its austere and even unwelcoming façade, it is really beautiful inside (mainly the pantheon of kings and princes). Don't miss the art-gallery, because even though most of the famous masterpieces that once hanged in El Escorial are now in the Prado, there are still great works of Tiziano, Velazquez, El Greco, Veronese and Tintoretto. Another impressive part of the visit is seeing the bedroom and bed where el rei Felipe II, probably the most powerful men of the world at his time, died.

Thank Arthur C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

We'd been recommended to visit to see where all the Kings of Spain are buried. We took the train from Madrid (about 1hr) and was very cheap and painless.
Opted for the shuttle bus up the hill to the Monastry and spent an enjoyable couple of hours wandering round at our own pace and the gardens outside.
The weather was very hot and sunny so added to the experience. The village is also very pretty with lots of locals in the many street bars and restaurants.
Walked back down to station, although not sign posted very well, only took 10 mins

2  Thank Magellan62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 17, 2013

The monastery construction was ordered by Phillip II with two main objectives: to serve as a place to bury his father Charles V, and to commemorate the victory in the San Quintin Battle against the French.

Beside the beautiful architecture style known as "herreriano" in honor of one of the architects that worked in its construction, this place contains an amazing collection of art with art pieces from the XVI and XVII century. If you decide to visit the monastery, you will be able to admire works from El Greco, Jose Ribera, Velazquez, among others.

My only complaint is not related to the site itself but the management. We were planning on visiting the "Prince House" as part of our trip (and is included in the ticket price). We were informed that it closed at 6 pm; and after learning the hard way that some attractions do not admit visitors one hour before closing, we inquired about the policy of this site. We were assured that we could tour the place up to 6 pm.

Our surprise was that we arrived at the site at 5:20 pm and after trying to find the entrance to the "Prince House" (there were no signs), we were told at the front door, you had to go back to the ticket office (where they don't actually sell the tickets) at the gate to take the guided tour.

We went back to the ticket office and the people said there, "sorry, the last tour left two minutes ago"....it was 5:29 pm. We were not the only ones left disappointed; there were at least 10 people, who were denied access. We all asked for a shorter tour without success. The tour guide just said "it's cold in there"

Why have a schedule until 6 pm when the last entrance is at 5:30 or earlier, with the only entrance allowed being an unposted/unannounced guided tour?

Thank EDPR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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