Favorite thing: Tourism Office
Calle Grimaldi, 2
- Tel.: (+34) 91 890 53 13
- Fax: (+34) 91 890 82 66
- Internet: www.sanlorenzoturismo.org
- E mail: email@example.com
The office is a few meters away from the main entrance of the Monastery (for the visit). You even can see it from the Tourism office. The Basilica has its own entrance.
Favorite thing: It's cold in winter and hot in summer, however, due to San Lorenzo is at the feet of the Sierra de Guadarrama, the nights are excellent.
For the forecast, check www.inm.es/web/infmet/predi/locali/MAM.html, go to "Listado completo de municipios" and look for San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
Fondest memory: I am Uruguayan, and my country is the best place of the world (no doubt!) but it has a little defect: it never snows! At El Escorial I spent the first (and only one) white Christmas of my life... Unforgettable!
Soy uruguaya, y mi país es el mejor lugar del mundo (¡sin dudas!) pero tiene un pequeño defecto: ¡nunca nieva! En El Escorial pasé la primera (y única) Navidad blanca de mi vida... Inolvidable!
Breathing fresh air
Favorite thing: I guess you could get used to traffic noise, or pollution, or a Metro train in a rush hour. I guess all those advantages that the civilization brings with are like a “white noise”; something that you could just get used to and never noticed it… until it disappears.
Even a city rat like me needs to run away from civilization from time to time. It doesn’t have to be very far. It’s enough if I can escape from the white noise for a while ;-)
Fondest memory: Oh, yeah! I almost forget my very fist visit to El Escorial. 6 years old and a school excursion. A couple of potato omelette sandwiches in the backpack and a bunch of pals. I can clearly remember the amazement that I felt inside the huge and gloomy halls of the Monastery, with all these walls covered with tapestries. Every tapestry counted one history, about ancient battles fought and sometimes wined by the kings buried inside the building. It seems that it’s easy to impress a six year old child. ;-)
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In the foothills . . .
Favorite thing: The town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is situated in the foothills of the Guadarrama mountains and dominated by the monastery itself. However, I found that the streets along the edge of the monastery are very charming and full of interesting shops and restaurants. Just head across the street from the entrance to the monastery and walk up the hill and you'll find them yourself!
Favorite thing: The monastery itself, commonly known as "El Escorial", is officially named the Real Monastery de San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Royal Monastery of St. Lawrence of Escorial). It was built by Felipe II in an impressive twenty one years between 1563 and 1584 in recognition of Spain's defeat of the French at Saint Quentin in 1557.
The architecture of the building itself is very simple, yet it's so massive that it is sure to impress you. The building has a bit of a hollow feel, as if it were devoid of a soul. Perhaps that's because it houses so many tombs, or maybe it's because it was snowing outside when I visited and the stone walls seem to trap the cold inside.
Fondest memory: The snow outside made the whole daytrip from Madrid memorable!
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