El Escorial is a historical residence of the King of Spain, the residence is located in the town of San Lorenzo in the Madrid Province. El Escorial has served as a monastery, basilica, royal palace, library, museum, university and hospital but it is now a royal site. The vast building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Construction of El Escorial started in 1563 and was finished by 1584. The project was conceived by King Philip II, who wanted a building to serve numerous purposes such as a burial place for his father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V; a monastery; and a palace. The decoration of the interior of the palace was given to Spanish and foreign artists in the 16th and 17th century.
The royal site is situated in San Lorenzo a town that is approximately 30 miles from Madrid, the best way to get to this sight is by train from Madrid, Trains can be caught at either the ‘Atocha’ or ‘Chamartin’ stations and then a local bus should take you to El Escorial. Otherwise, you can get the bus; buses from Madrid leave from the ‘Moncloa’ station and will drop you directly in front of the El Escorial monastery.
Opening Times and Admission
Entrance to the residence comes at a cost of 10 euros with the opening times set for 10am-8pm April to September and 10am-6pm from October to March, with Monday's set as a day of closure throughout the year.