Just northwest of the city center, another one of Spain’s abundant World Heritage Sites peacefully resides in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial or simply, El Escorial. My flatmate is lucky enough to work near its main attraction, the El Escorial Monastery. Due to its close proximity, you can easily take a bus or Cercanias train with your abono card.
My friends, Martine, Greg, and I set off for the monastery for a quiet weekend day trip. Even though the monastery is one of the most important architectural Spanish sites, it almost seemed like we were following a pathway of trees in Paris on the way to its entrance. The construction of the monastery began after the proposal of a royal burial site by King Phillip in 1563, but never lived to see its completion in 1584. In total, the buildings include the church, the monastery, the royal palace, the college, and the library. The interiors are full of art by notable artists such as El Greco, but sadly we were not allowed to take photos.
After exploring the inside, we walked through the gardens and enjoyed chilly, but beautiful views of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains in the distance.