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Travel Europe Spain The royal pantheon of Spain - The Escorial

The royal pantheon of Spain - The Escorial

Madrid, Spain, The Escorial panoramic view

Northwest of Madrid, a royal monastery from the 16 century you can find San Lorenzo del Escorial. This huge monastery of St. Lawrence was built between 1563 and 1584.

The founder of the Escorial's was King Philip II of Spain. At first he wanted to build a mausoleum for his father, Emperor Charles V himself and his descendants. The mausoleum was erected inside the walls of a large convent for the salvation of the dead can pray. Next to the monastery and mausoleum is a part of the complex occupied by the royal palace. In the northwest corner is a seminary and an institute for religious and secular education.
The history of the Escorial goes back to the year 1557, on August 10th, the feast of Lawrence, Philip II won the battle against the French at San Quentin. He promised to build a monastery in honor of St. Lawrence, a martyr of the Spanish king since his youth honored.

The architect of the Escorial was Alfonsis Juan Bautista de Toledo. The design that was approved by Philip, was based on a construction of equilateral triangles in a circle, under the rules of Vitruvius. The basic form consists of a rectangle of 204 meters by 160 meters. Bautista originally wanted ten towers around the monastery building, but during a revision of the draft (1563-1564) it was decided that a tower at each corner post and two in the middle it would be enough.

Shortly after the start of construction in 1563, the design of the church changed on the advice of Francesco Paciotti of Urbino. The Italian architect was hired as a consultant. In his opinion, the western side of the building with a floor increased as Philip II had decided that the monastery is not only one hundred fifty monks had to stay. After the untimely death in 1567 put Bautista Juan de Herrera continued the work.

The style of the Escorial falls within the late Renaissance with famous architects such as Giorgio Vasari and Giacamo Barozzi da Vignola. The outer walls of the Escorial were built of call rug with gray granite from the vicinity of the monastery, the Guardarrama. The walls are rough weather, causing the contrast between the walls and other neighboring gardens, terraces and the richly decorated interior.

In the church, the cloister and the library in the complex are made large frescoes. In the chapter houses of the monastery are paintings by Tintoretto, Rubens and Velazquez to see. Every detail of the interior had to be approved by Philip personally.

Many people who visit the Escorial, the complex will be at first glance seems like bleak. But on closer examination you will realize why it all in 1578, was considered the eighth wonder of the world that the seven classic equaled.