Our Private Guided Tours
THE ROYAL MONASTERY OF THE ESCORIAL & THE VALLEY OF THE FALLEN
A must for history lovers
The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial is located among oak and pine trees on the southern slopes of the Guadarrama mountains, 35 miles northwest of Madrid.
It represents the splendor of the Hapsburg dynasty which ruled the then new Kingdom of Spain for 200 years from approximately 1500 to 1700. The building itself is the greatest example of Renaissance architecture in Spain.
It was known as “The Eighth Wonder of the World” and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. King Philippe II commissioned the design, construction and decoration of this monastery to the best architects of the time.
In under 100 years after Colombus sailed to America the new Kingdom of Spain boasted powerful maritime and land forces and new colonies in America, Africa and Asia. It is hard to imagine that it was from this remote inland location that Philippe II ruled a vast Spanish empire where “the sun never set”.
Only 7 miles away from here is the “Valley of the Fallen”, a spectacular monument in memory to those “fallen” during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). It was commissioned by the dictator Francisco Franco at the end of the war. The Basilica, literally built inside a dynamited-out mountain, is crowned by a 492-foot- high cross. The ensemble is truly impressive.
King Philippe II devoted this monastery to San Lorenzo to commemorate the Spanish victory of San Quintin over the French troops on August 10th, 1557, which is the San Lorenzo feast day. The floorplan of the building takes the shape of a grill, as this saint was burned alive on a grill in the 3rd century.
The King accomplished his father’s wish, to create a place where future Spanish Kings would be buried: a Royal Pantheon.
It took only 21 years to build this enormous monument: 33,000 square meters, 1,200 doors, 2,600 windows, 15 courtyards… Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera were the architects who designed the magnificently austere building. The monument is made of a basilica, a monastery, a school, a library, the Hapsburg Palace and the Royal Pantheon. Most of Spain’s kings and queens have been buried here since the 16th century.
The Valley of the Fallen is a memorial to the “fallen” of the Spanish Civil war (1936-1939). It has always been a controversial monument for Spaniards. Built in 19 years by paid workers and political prisoners. Its construction involved the engineering challenge of hollowing out a mountain. This massive memorial rises in silence among towering pine trees on the slopes of the Guadarrama mountains.
The basilica (859 feet long) inside the mountain ís crowned by a 492-foot- high cross on top of the mountain. The remains of thousands of people who died in the war are buried here. Francisco Franco was buried in this Basilica from 1975 to 2019, when his remains were moved to El Pardo, a royal hunting hamlet just outside Madrid.
Duration: 5 hours
Price: 640€ + 25€ per person. Up to 6 people. For larger groups, please ask for quotation
What is included:
Our rate as private licensed guides
Luxury private vehicle & professional driver
* The tour will be taken in a comfortable private luxury vehicle with a professional driver
The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial
The Valley of the Fallen
Your hotel lobby
This itinerary can be adapted to your interests.
Do not hesitate to contact us for a CUSTOMIZED tour.
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