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The Escorial, located 42 km Northwest of Madrid is the largest renaissance building in the world. The construction began in 1563, by Spanish architect Juan Bautista de Toledo. It was completed in 1567, after his death by Juan de Herrara. The place is now recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. Over the years, the interior of the Escorial was decorated by many Spanish and Italian artists of the 16th and 17th centuries. The magnificent frescoes and the grand design of the monastery, library and church make the place a must-visit when in Madrid.
Read on to know more about El Escorial tickets, timings, highlights and more!
El Escorial is one of the major tourist attractions if you plan to visit Madrid, and it can become an ordeal to get your hands on the tickets without prior arrangements. Book your tickets online in advance and enjoy a hassle-free experience of exploring the ancient ruins of the castle.
The San Lorenzo el Real is the basilica- the central structure in the escorial complex. Originally designed like most Gothic cathedrals, the plan was heavily modified by Herrera. The ground plan is that of a Greek cross. The dome of the Basilica of El Escorial is similar to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The area surrounding the high altar is richly decorated.
The pantheon of Kings and infants is part of the Escorial monastery. The place has 26 marble tombs of past monarchs and their queens. The monarchs belong to the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties. All kings from Charles I, except 3 were buried here. The pantheon is a collection of 9 burial chapels, of princes, princesses and consorts.
There are 3 libraries in the Escorial complex. The royal library- which is open to the public, a library behind the Basilica’s chorus and a library connected to various monk’s chambers. The royal library is home to magnificent walls covered by intricate Frescoes. There are frescoes by Tibaldi depicting many allegorical themes. There are also many portraits of saints, pontiffs, sages and artists.
Apart from the military victories of King Philip II, the hall of battle also depicts many past military victories. The frescoes here are elegant and stretch the length of the hall walls. In the past, the hall of battle was known as the King’s Gallery/ Galleria del rey. The walls cover Philip’s campaigns against the French and many medieval victories over the Moors.
Address: Madrid, Plaza de España, 1, 28200 El Escorial, Spain
A. It is best to buy El Escorial tickets online.
A. Yes, you can buy El Escorial tickets online. It is best to pre-book them to get a preferred date and time of visit.
A. El Escorial tickets start from €12.
A. Children aged 0-5 enjoy free entry, while children aged 6-15 and seniors above the age of 65 enjoy reduced pricing on their El Escorial tickets.
A. El Escorial Madrid is a UNESCO world heritage complex containing a Basilica, monastery, tombs, royal palace and libraries.
A. El Escorial tickets are available online. The monument is accessible by road and rail.
A. El Escorial is located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 45 km northwest from Madrid.
A. El Escorial is the largest renaissance building in the world. It houses a Basilica, several tombs, a Royal Palace, Monastery and Libraries. The interior walls of all the buildings here are intricately decorated with frescoes and sculptures.
A. You can take the commuter line C-8 at the Atocha Station or bus line 664 or 661 from the Moncloa interchange to get to El Escorial. Both the train station and the bus stop are within a 5-10 minute walk from the monument.
A. From October to March, El Escorial is open between Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. From April to September, it is open between Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
A. Wheelchairs are available at the entrance. There is also a locker facility to store your luggage.
A. Yes, El Escorial is wheelchair accessible. However the uneven cobblestones and pavements can make the ride bumpy.
A. No, photography and filming are not permitted inside the monastery and the exhibitions. Flash photography is not permitted anywhere.
A. Yes, El Escorial is the largest renaissance building in the world and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The magnificent buildings and the intricate frescoes, coupled with the rich legacy of the complex makes the place a worthy visit.