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“Built at the height of Spanish power...”

Monasterio y Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
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$72.04*
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El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen from Madrid
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$76.84*
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El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen Tour from Madrid with Optional Toledo or...
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$286.95*
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Private Day Tour of Madrid Higlights with Visits to Escorial Monastery and...
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Built at the height of Spanish power...”
Reviewed March 27, 2014

This was my 3rd visit to El Escorial - 14yrs since my previous visit. It is an amazing place. Imagine the wealth that it took to create such a building. Much of what the Spanish were bringing in from the new world went into creating this massive, massive structure.

Inside you will see a collection of great art, history of how the building was designed and built, sleeping chambers, a basilica and most impressive (to me) the royal Pantheon. The marble coffins are beautifully arranged and shaped. The dark colors highlighted in gold are beautiful.

The basilica is amazing. The work behind the high-alter is beautiful with gold columns and sculptures. Also the dome is supported by massive columns which emphasize the immense size of this undertaking.

On this most recent visit, it was quite cold within the building, and actually in my previous visits in the summer, it was never very warm inside. While the building may not be as warm and inviting as others, it is a testament to the wealth and power of Spain at that period in time.

Be aware, they don't allow pictures inside El Escorial. My posted pictures were from my previous visit, when they did allow them. On our most recent visit we parked in the parking garage a couple of hundred yards from the entrance, which was great, because searching for street parking can take forever.

Visited April 2013
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Thank PittJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Wales
Level 6 Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Awesome”
Reviewed March 26, 2014

The final resting place of the Spanish monarchs, this fortress/ palace/monastery commands the landscape. The mausoleum, library and chapel are the most interesting areas for me, and the Grand Staircase is quite something, too. Visited on a bitingly cold day, which underlined just how uncomfortable it must have been to live there - and about 30 Augustinian monks still do.
Unless you have a car, arriving by bus from Madrid is the best option, as the monastery is very close to the bus station, but a fair way from the station

Visited March 2014
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Thank cantorion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Malling, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“So impressive”
Reviewed March 25, 2014 via mobile

I had always wanted to go here and was not disappointed . For 10 euros it is an absolute bargain. There is a lot to see and a lot of walking, but we loved the hall of battles and library and the pantheon. The free gardens outside were also very nice. It is austere but I found that impressive. You can take photos outside and in the courtyards. We had lunch in the cafe and the staff were fine. The little town is very nice to wander around. The train from Madrid is very cheap and easy and a lovely walk through the park.

Visited March 2014
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1 Thank oscartime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastbourne, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“El Escorial monastery”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Certainly it is a most impressive building with interesting exhibits and monuments and in March it was easy to park nearby - but probably wouldn't be in the summer. However it is not the easiest of places to get round, with many stairs, fewer bannisters and often rough under foot, awkward in the gloom. So we could not see all we wanted to. Furthermore we found the staff to be surly and officious, even to members of our party with reasonable Spanish, It was also disappointing not to be allowed to take photographs. In short, we're glad we have been there but have no wish to go again. A&MW

Visited March 2014
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1 Thank Maureen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baja California, Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
173 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“A place full of Spanish history. Very impressive.”
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

We went on a tour after visiting Toledo and it was a lovely place to meet. It's a very big castle with a lot of history ( all of the Spain monarchy is under that building) and the tombs are made of marble in dark green tones very impressive and interesting. If you have time to go and visit you will not be disappointed.

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