San Lorenzo de El Escorial Off The Beaten Path

  • Casita del Príncipe (S.L. de El Escorial, Spain)
    Casita del Príncipe (S.L. de El...
    by Redang
  • Casita del Príncipe (S.L. de El Escorial, Spain)
    Casita del Príncipe (S.L. de El...
    by Redang
  • Casita del Príncipe (S.L. de El Escorial, Spain)
    Casita del Príncipe (S.L. de El...
    by Redang

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in San Lorenzo de El Escorial

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    Valle de Los Caidos

    by solopes Updated Jun 16, 2014

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    Valle do los Caidos - Madrid
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    About ten kilometers distant, away from everything, in the wild mountain, a big church was carved in the rock, to be used as memorial to the victims of the civil war.

    Very appreciated during the dictatorship (and despised by the catholic church), it's a place that invites to think. And that is the healthiest exercise!

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    La Casita del Príncipe o de Abajo (1)

    by Redang Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Casita del Pr��ncipe (S.L. de El Escorial, Spain)
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    La Casita del Príncipe o de Abajo (The Little Prince's House or The Lower House or The Cottage Down Below or...), was built in 1.772 by Juan de Villanueva for the then Príncipe de Asturias (Prince of Asturias), later Rey (King) Carlos IV.

    - Fax: (+34) 91 890 78 18

    How to get there:
    From the railway station of El Escorial (have a look at my "Warning & Danger Tip", you only need to walk a few metres.

    From the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, take road M-600 to Madrid, but just after about 300-400 metres, when the road turns left, go straight ahead to El Escorial or railway station, then, before the tunnel, on your right, you will see the entrance.

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    Sierra de Guadarrama

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    The Sierra de Guadarrama are a mountain range in the centre of the Iberian Peninsular. They extend from the northwest to the southeast. The area was rarely visited until the 1920’s when a rail link was built to connect through to Madrid. The sloping granite hillsides are filled with pine forests which have today some small holiday resorts nestled in them. The area is popular for rock-climbing, horse riding and hiking. The Valley of the Fallen is situated within the slopes of this range.

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    No Flash Photography

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    The Basilica of the Holy Cross is an amazing place. The sheer enormity of this creation within the mountain not to mention the massive statues which escort you through to the huge altar – everything is on a massive scale. You will not be able to take any flash photography unfortunately and there will be guards around to ensure this. The huge interior is quite dimly lit, so normal photography probably won’t produce a good photo.

    Location: Valle de Los Caidos

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    The Basilica

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    The Basilica of the Holy Cross (of the Valley of the Fallen) has been carved 250metres into the granite rock. The interior is made up of 40 huge statues of saints, 5 side chapels, a vestibule and atrium. There are around 40,000 coffins of fallen Civil War soldiers lying in a non-public place within the monument – some 150,000 were originally planned. Nationalist leaders as well as Francisco Franco are also buried in the church. A huge dome rises 42 metres above the altar which has been carved from a single piece of granite.

    Location: Valle de Los Caidos

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    • Historical Travel

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    La Piedad

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    Above the entrance into the Basilica is the sculpture of the Pieta. This sculpture which features Christ lying in his grief-stricken mothers arms was created by Juan de Ávalos and measures 12 x 5 meters.

    Location: Valle de Los Caidos

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    Huge Entrance Doors

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    Centred in colonnade are the bronze double entrance doors into the Basilica. These decorative panelled doors are massive and show the mysteries of the rosary, Descent of the Holy Spirit, Annunciation, Prayer in the Garden, The Visitation, Christ’s birth and crucifixion – all created by Fernando Cruz Solis. You really only get a good perspective of their size when you see people standing in front of them.

    Location : Valle de Los Caidos

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    The Esplanade

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    Before you enter into the depths of the mountain and the Basilica you will stand in a huge square which is bordered by two curved colonnades, each with 10 arches, measuring 262metres in length. The entire esplanade is supposed to bigger than St Peters in Rome and measures 30,600 metres.

    Location: Valle de Los Caidos

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    The Tram

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    For a small fee (one way or roundtrip) there is a small funicular tramway which takes you up to the base of the cross which gives great views over the valley. There are also a walking route. The tram operates from 10.30am to 6.00pm.

    Location: Valle de Los Caidos

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    The Evangelists

    by keeweechic Updated Oct 4, 2009

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    There are two levels to the base of the Cross. On the first level are Lucas and del Toro, Matthew and winged man, John and the Eagle and Marcos and the lion – all four evangelists and their symbols are sculptures by Juan D’avalos. The second level represents the four cardinal virtues: Temperance, Justice, Prudence and Strength.

    Location: Valle de Los Caidos

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    The Cross

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    On top of the monument is a stone cross measuring over 150 metres high with a span of 46 metres and its dominance can be seen for many many miles over the pine forests. It is reported to be the world’s tallest memorial cross.

    Location: Valle de Los Caidos

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    Main Entrance

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    From the main entrance to the Valley of the Fallen, you will travel on a further 1.5kms to the enormous cross. From the carpark, there is a kiosk and then a short walk to the base of the funicular.

    Location Valle de Los Caidos

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    Valle de Los Caidos

    by keeweechic Written Oct 4, 2009

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    The colossal Valley of the Fallen is about 13kms from the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. A hugely controversial site built by Franco who forced many Republican POW’s to build this monument to the fallen Nationalist soldiers of the civil war. Many of the prisoners died during the 16 years of the construction.

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    Silla de Felipe II

    by Redang Updated Feb 7, 2008

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    Silla de Felipe II (San Lorenzo Escorial, Spain)
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    It is said that King Felipe II, under whose reign the Monastery was built, came here to oversee how the works were developing. It is in La Herrería, out of town, so that, you need a car.

    Don't forget to have a look at the other pic, it shows a fantastic view of San Lorenzo (what the King saw everytime he came here).

    Silla means chair.

    How to get there:
    The Silla de Felipe II is in La Herrería itself (visit the tip on it). So, from there, just follow the signs.

    Internet: Check the site and look under "entorno natural" (Spanish) or "natural environment" (English).

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    La Herrería

    by Redang Updated Feb 7, 2008

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    La Herrer��a (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain)
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    This natural environment offers an excellent place to relax and have picnic if you take your own food. The only problem is that it is a bit far from the centre (a few kilometers), I mean, you need either your car or your feet.

    How to get there:
    From San Lorenzo de El Escorial, take the road to El Escorial, then take road M-505 (to your right, direction, Avila), and after a few kilometers (maybe just one), you will find the Ermita on your left and Silla de Felipe II a bit further (follow the signs).

    Internet:
    - www.sanlorenzoturismo.org, and look under entorno natural (Spanish) or natural environment (English).

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