Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

  • monasteriodeescorial_1400579840.911.jpg
  • Monasterio de El Escorial
  • History
  • Architecture
  • San Lorenzo de El Escorial town
  • Other places of interest
  • Getting there

Located in the heart of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range (on one side of Mount Abantos), just 50 kilometres from Madrid, San Lorenzo de El Escorial is one of the main towns for cultural tourism in the area. Its principal attraction is the Monastery and Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

Deeply affected by the death of his father, Charles V, in 1558 and in order to consolidate the House of Habsburg in Spain, Philip II ordered the construction of the monastery. His aims were to ensure that his family would be remembered forever, to create a dynastic place of burial, and to offset the destruction of a church dedicated to St. Lawrence during the Battle of St. Quentin in France.

On 23 April 1563, the first stone was laid by order of Juan Bautista de Toledo, and after his death in 1567, Juan de Herrera took over the project. He gave it his own Herrerian-style architectural look and feel, characterised by the use of lines rather than overusing decorative elements that only distract attention from the building itself.


A unique way of travelling to and discovering Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes. From 20 April to 7 December 2024!

With entertainment and treats along the way, this is a really unique and wonderful way of visiting a town steeped in history. From 13 April to 14 November 2024.

  • Hop onto a train or bus and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind.

    Day Trips
  • Catedral de Toledo
  • Located right in the centre of the country, Madrid is very well connected to the rest of the country and to the rest of the world, and can be easily reached by plane, train, coach and car.

    Travelling to Madrid


The city’s new official sightseeing and tourist travel pass.

An observation deck at 92 metres.

Our online store (in Spanish) sells artisan souvenirs.