Conceived by the very religious King Philip II to serve as a royal residence but also house a school to embrace humanism in a way that promoted the Catholic faith, a beautifully decorated library (full of books written in Hebrew and Arabic as well as Latin scripts), a monastery(!) and a grand mausoleum for Spain's royal family(!!), El Escorial is an extremely large complex with 4,000 rooms, 1,200 doors, 2,675 windows and some 24 kilometers worth of passageways!
All this nonetheless only hints at what can be seen within, which includes one absolute masterpiece of religious artwork in the form of Rogier van der Weyden's The Crucifixion along with more religious relics than I ever thought it would be possible to gather together and display in one place (El Escorial's Basilica) and also more royal remains assembled in one very cold and frankly pretty eerie series of sepulchre spaces than I ever cared to be in the presence of! So maybe you should count yourself lucky that I don't have photographs of such places and items to share with you as well as be satisfied with the following picks of the images that I did manage to capture while there... ;b
A picture which hopefully gives a sense of how enormous
-- and also visually forbidding -- El Escorial is!
El Escorial's gray granite stones and even grayer
slate roof tiles make one want to call for a bit of color...
so enter Puppet Ponyo into the frame! :b
Looking towards the front of the Basilica in the
Peeking from the cloister through a chained gate...
.After thrusting my camera into the space, it caught this image!
A(nother) quiet space in the cloister
The ceiling fresco of that otherwise austerely decorated space :O
Outside again many hours later, I felt like I had only scratched the surface
of this monumental complex which I'm amazed does not attract as
many visitors as so many other lesser as well as smaller Spanish sites!