El Escorial is a great place to visit if you are looking for a day trip outside of Madrid. Located about an hour’s drive northwest of Madrid, the Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a royal site that functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum and school.
The monastery was commissioned by Felipe II in 1563 and was completed in just 21 years. It contains the Panteón de los Reyes (Royal Pantheon), which is the burial site for most of the Spanish kings of the last five centuries.
You can also visit the Royal Library that houses a priceless collection of 60,000 volumes, the Philip II Apartments, and the Basilica of San Lorenzo el Real. For more information from the tourist office of San Lorenzo, click here.
For information on taking a private tour from Madrid to visit El Escorial, click here.
Photo credit: Patrimonio Nacional
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