El Escorial, the full name of which is The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial) is an impressive sixteenth century royal complex built under the orders of King Philip II of Spain. Intended to mark the celebration of Spain’s victory over the French in the Battle of St Quentin, El Escorial was constructed between 1563 and 1567. It would go on to serve as the king’s palace and the seat of his empire.
The architecture of El Escorial is one of its most significant elements. The style, now known as Herrerian, was developed by El Escorial’s architect Juan de Herrera and was considered an innovation at the time.
Many of Spain’s monarchs are buried within the grand granite walls of El Escorial, including several members of the Habsburg Dynasty as well as the Bourbons.
Today, El Escorialis a UNESCO World Heritage site and is open to the public, who can tour its various buildings, courtyards, vast library, towers and halls as well as viewing its around 1,600 paintings. This site also features as one of our top Tourist Attractions in Spain.
Located approx 60km northwest of Madrid. Train line C-8 (Madrid-El Escorial) from Atocha Station, Madrid or buses 661 and 664 from La Moncloa.
Open daily except Mondays, 10am-5pm (to 6pm April-Sept). Closed 1 and 6 Jan, 1 and 31 May, 10 Aug, 12 Sept, 1 Nov and 24-25 and 31 December. €8 for adults, €4 for ages 5-16, students, disabled and retired persons.
Calle Juan de Borbón y Battemberg, 28200 San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about El Escorial is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or e-mail us.