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Monastery and Site of the Escorial, Madrid*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

A distant view of El Escorial.
State Party  Spain
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, vi
Reference 318
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1984  (8th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

El Escorial is an historical residence of the king of Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and school. It is located about 45 kilometres (28 miles) northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. El Escorial comprises two architectural complexes of great historical and cultural significance: El Real Monasterio de El Escorial itself and La Granjilla de La Fresneda, a royal hunting lodge and monastic retreat about five kilometres away. These sites have a dual nature; that is to say, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, they were places in which the temporal power of the Spanish monarchy and the ecclesiastical predominance of the Roman Catholic religion in Spain found a common architectural manifestation.[1] El Escorial was, at once, a monastery and a Spanish royal palace. Originally a property of the Hieronymite monks, it is now an monastery of the Order of Saint Augustine.

Philip II of Spain, reacting to the Protestant Reformation sweeping through Europe during the sixteenth century, devoted much of his lengthy reign (1556-1598) and much of his seemingly inexhaustible supply of New World gold to stemming the Protestant tide. His protracted efforts were, in the long run, partly successful. However, the same counter-reformational impulse had a much more benign expression, thirty years earlier, in Philip's decision to build the complex at El Escorial.

Façade of the Monastery of El Escorial

Philip engaged the Spanish architect, Juan Bautista de Toledo, to be his collaborator in the design of El Escorial. Juan Bautista had spent the greater part of his career in Rome, where he had worked on the basilica of St. Peter's, and in Naples, where he had served the king's viceroy, whose recommendation brought him to the king's attention. Philip appointed him architect-royal in 1559, and together they designed El Escorial as a monument to Spain's role as a center of the Christian world.[2]

On November 2, 1984, UNESCO declared The Royal Site of San Lorenzo of El Escorial a World Heritage Site. It is an extremely popular tourist attraction, often visited by day-trippers from Madrid - more than 500.000 visitors come to El Escorial every year (2004 - 504 238, 2005 - 512 834, 2006 - 534 932, 2007 - 538 491).

Design and conception

Contents

El Escorial is situated at the foot of Mt. Abantos in the Sierra de Guadarrama. It is a bleak, semi-forested, wind-swept place that owes its name to nearby piles of slag or tailings, called scoria, the detritus of long-played-out iron mines in the Guadarrama.

This austere location, hardly an obvious choice for the site of a royal palace, was chosen by King Philip II of Spain, and it was he who ordained the building of a grand edifice here to commemorate the 1557 Spanish victory at the Battle of St. Quentin in Picardy against Henry II, king of France.[3] He also intended the complex to serve as a necropolis for the interment of the remains of his parents, Charles I and Isabella of Portugal, himself, and his descendants.[4] In addition, Philip envisioned El Escorial as a center for studies in aid of the Counter-Reformation cause.

The building's cornerstone was laid on April 23, 1563. The design and construction were overseen by Juan Bautista de Toledo, who did not live to see the completion of the project. With Toledo's death in 1567, direction passed to his apprentice, Juan de Herrera, under whom the building was completed in 1584, in less than 21 years.

El Escorial: floor plan, based on the floorplan of Solomon's Temple.

Since then, El Escorial has been the burial site for most of the Spanish kings of the last five centuries, Bourbons as well as Habsburgs. The Royal Pantheon contains the tombs of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (who ruled Spain as King Charles I), Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV, Charles II, Louis I, Charles III, Charles IV, Ferdinand VII, Isabel II, Alfonso XII, and Alfonso XIII. Two Bourbon kings, Philip V (who reigned from 1700 to 1746) and Ferdinand VI (1746-1759), as well as King Amadeo of Savoy (1870-1873), are not buried in the monastery.

The floor plan of the building is in the form of a gridiron. The traditional belief is that this design was chosen in honor of St. Lawrence, who, in the third century AD, was martyred by being roasted to death on a grill. St. Lawrence’s feast day is August 10, the same date as the 1557 Battle of St. Quentin.[5]

In fact, however, the origin of the building's layout is quite controversial. The grill-like shape, which did not fully emerge until Herrera eliminated from the original conception the six interior towers of the facade, was, by no means, unique to El Escorial. Other buildings had been constructed with interior courtyards fronting on churches or chapels; King's College, Cambridge, dating from 1441, is one such example; the old Ospedale Maggiore, Milan's first hospital, begun in 1456 by Antonio Filarete, is another grid-like building with interior courtyards. In fact, palaces of this approximate design were commonplace in the Byzantine and Arab world. Strikingly similar to El Escorial is the layout of the Alcázar of Seville and the design of the Alhambra at Granada where, as at El Escorial, two courtyards in succession separate the main portal of the complex from a fully-enclosed place of worship.

El Escorial was constructed from a plan based on the descriptions of Solomon's temple.[6]

Nonetheless, the most persuasive theory for the origin of the floor plan is that it is based on descriptions of the Temple of Solomon by the Judeo-Roman historian, Flavius Josephus: a portico followed by a courtyard open to the sky, followed by a second portico and a second courtyard, all flanked by arcades and enclosed passageways, leading to the "holy of holies". Statues of David and Solomon on either side of the entrance to the basilica of El Escorial lend further weight to the theory that this is the true origin of the design. A more personal connection can be drawn between the David-warrior figure, representing Charles V, and his son, the stolid and solomonically prudent Philip II. Echoing the same theme, a fresco in the center of El Escorial's library, a reminder of Solomon’s legendary wisdom, affirms Philip's preoccupation with the great Jewish king, his thoughtful and logical character, and his extraordinary monumental temple.[7]

The Temple-of-Solomon design, if indeed it was the basis for El Escorial, was extensively modified to accommodate the additional functions and purposes Philip II intended the building to serve. Beyond being a monastery, El Escorial is also a pantheon, a basilica, a convent, a school, a library, and a royal palace. All these functional demands resulted in a doubling of the building's size from the time of its original conception.

Built primarily from locally-quarried gray granite, square and sparsely-ornamented, El Escorial is austere, even forbidding, in its outward appearance, seemingly more like a fortress than a monastery or palace. It takes the form of a gigantic quadrangle, approximately 224 m by 153 m, which encloses a series of intersecting passageways and courtyards and chambers. At each of the four corners is a square tower surmounted by a spire, and, near the center of the complex (and taller than the rest) rise the pointed belfries and round dome of the basilica. Philip's instructions to Toledo were simple and clear, directing that the architects should produce "simplicity in the construction, severity in the whole, nobility without arrogance, majesty without ostentation."[8]

Aside from its explicit purposes, the complex is also an enormous storehouse of art. It displays masterworks by Titian, Tintoretto, El Greco, Velázquez, Roger van der Weyden, Paolo Veronese, Alonso Cano, José de Ribera, Claudio Coello and others.[9] The library contains thousands of priceless manuscripts; for example, the collection of the sultan, Zidan Abu Maali, who ruled Morocco from 1603 to 1627, is housed at El Escorial. Giambattista Castello designed the magnificent main staircase.

Sections of the building

In order to describe the parts of the great building in a coherent fashion, it may be useful to undertake an imaginary walking tour, beginning with the main entrance at the center of the western facade:

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The patio of the kings

The first thing you find upon arriving to El Escorial is the main Façade. This has three doors: the middle one leads to the Patio de los Reyes and the side ones lead to a school and the other to a monastery. On the façade there is a niche where the image of a saint has been placed. The Patio de los Reyes is an enclosure that owes its name to the statues of the Kings of Judah that adorn the façade of the Basílica, located at the back, from which you can access from the patio. This spectacular basilica has a floor in the shape of a Greek cross and an enormous cupola inspired in San Pedro del Vaticano. The naves are covered with canyon vaults decorated with frescoes by Lucas Jordán. The large chapel is one of the highlights in the basilica, presided by steps of red marble. Its main altarpiece is 30 meters high and divided in compartments of different sizes where we find bronze sculptures and canvas authored by Tibaldi, Zuccaro or Leoni. In the Capitulary and the Sacristy Rooms, painting such as 'La Túnica de José' by Velázquez, 'La Última Cena (The Last Supper)' by Tiziano, or 'La Adoración de la Sagrada Forma por Carlos II (The Adoration by Carlos II of the Sacred Form)' by Claudio Coello are on exhibit.

Under the royal chapel of the Basílica we find the Panteones Reales. These are the place of burial for the kings of Spain. It is an octagonal Baroque mausoleum made of marble where all of the Spanish monarchs since Carlos I have been buried, with the exception of Felipe V, Fernando de Saboya and Amadeo de Saboya. The remain of Juan de Borbon, father of Juan Carlos I (Spain's current king), also rest in this pantheon despite the fact he never came to rule. The enclosure is presided by an altar of veined marble, and the sarcaphogi are bronze and marble. We also find the Panteón de los Infantes, where the bodies of the queens who did not have a crowned succession and the princes and princesses were laid to rest. This part was built in the 19th C.

After visiting the Basílica, we can admire the Patio de los Evangelistas. This is a gardened patio in whose center rises a magnificent pavilion by Juan de Herrera in which you can find sculptures of the Evangelistas. Around the patio are the galleries of the main cloister, decorated with frescoes in which scenes from the history of the Redemption are represented. In the East gallery, you find the splendid main stair case with a frescoe-decorated vaulted ceiling themed "the glory of the Spanish monarchy".

Next, we can visit the Palacio de los Austrias, also known as the Casa del Rey (House of the King), which is found behind the presbytery of the basilica. The outbuildings of this palace are distributed around the patio of the Mascarones, of Italian style. Inside the House of the King we can visit first of all the Sala de las Batallas (Hall of Battles), which contains frescoes of the battles of San Quintín and Higueruela, among others. The next building that we see contain the rooms of Felipe II and of the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia. Another interesting outbuilding is that of Alcoba del Rey, where we can contemplate the bed in which Felipe II died.

The basilica

Dome of the Basilica of El Escorial

The basilica of San Lorenzo el Real, the central building in the El Escorial complex, was originally designed, like most of the late Gothic cathedrals of western Europe, to take the form of a Latin cross.¹ As such, it has a long nave on the west-east axis intersected by a pair of shorter transepts, one to the north and one directly opposite, to the south, about three-quarters of the way between the west entrance and the high altar. This plan was modified by Juan de Herrera to that of a Greek cross, a form with all four arms of equal length. Coincident with this shift in approach, the bell towers at the western end of the church were somewhat reduced in size and the small half-dome intended to stand over the altar was replaced with a full circular dome over the center of the church, where the four arms of the Greek cross meet.

Clearly Juan Bautista de Toledo's experience with the dome of St. Peter's basilica in Rome influenced the design of the dome of San Lorenzo el Real at El Escorial. However, the Roman dome is supported by ranks of tapered Corinthian columns, with their extravagant capitals of acanthus leaves and their elaborately fluted shafts, while the dome at El Escorial, soaring nearly one hundred metres into the air, is supported by four heavy granite piers connected by simple Romanesque arches and decorated by simple Doric pilasters, plain, solid, and largely unprepossessing. It would not be a flight of fancy to interpret St. Peter's as the quintessential expression of the High Renaissance and the basilica at El Escorial as a statement of the stark rigidity and grim purposefulness of the Inquisition and the Counter-Reformation.

Pantheon of the Evangelists.

The most highly-decorated part of the church is the area surrounding the high altar. Behind the altar is a three-tiered reredos, made of red granite and jasper, nearly twenty-eight metres tall, adorned with gilded bronze statuary by Leone Leoni, and three sets of religious paintings commissioned by Philip II. To either side are gilded life-size bronzes of the kneeling family groups of Charles and Philip, also by Leoni with help from his son Pompeo. In a shallow niche at the center of the lowest level is a repository for the physical elements of the communion ceremony, a so-called "House of the Sacrament", designed by Juan de Herrera in jasper and bronze.

To decorate the reredos, or altar screens, the king's preferences were Michelangelo or Titian, but both of these giants were already more than eighty years old and in frail health.² Consequently, Philip consulted his foreign ambassadors for recommendations, and the result was a lengthy parade of the lesser European artists of that time, all swanning through the construction site at El Escorial seeking the king's favor.

¹ The Latin cross, with its long descending arm, is the form most familiar to western Christians as the cross on which Christ was supposed to have been crucified.

² Michelangelo died in 1564, scarcely a year after the first stones at El Escorial were laid, and Titian, when asked to come to Spain, respectfully refused on the basis of his advanced age.

Palace of Philip II

Situated next to the main altar of the Basilica, the residence of King Philip II is made up of a series of austerely decorated rooms. It features a window from which the king could observe mass from his bed when incapacitated by the gout that afflicted him.

Ceilling in the Hall of Battles.

Hall of Battles

Fresco paintings here depict the most important Spanish military victories. These include a medieval victory over the Moors, as well as several of Philip's campaigns against the French.

Pantheon of the Kings

This consists of twenty-six marble sepulchers containing the remains of the kings and ruling queens (the only Queen-Regnant since Philip II was Isabella II), of the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties from Charles I (Holy Roman Emperor Charles V) to the present, except for Philip V and Ferdinand VI.

The sepulchers also contain the remains of Royal Consorts who were mothers or fathers of Kings. The only King-Consort is Francis of Asis de Bourbon, husband of queen Isabella II. The most recent remains in the sepulcher are those of King Alfonso XIII. Those of his wife, as well as his son Juan de Borbón and daughter-in-law Maria de las Mercedes (the parents of the current king, Juan Carlos I), lie at a prepared place called a pudridero, or decaying chamber.

There are two pudrideros at El Escorial, one for the Pantheon of the Kings and the other for that of the Princes, which can only be visited by monks from the Monastery. In these rooms, the remains of the deceased are placed in a small leaden urn, which in turn will be placed in the marble sepulchers of the pantheon after the passage of fifty years, the estimated time necessary for the complete decomposition of the bodies.

Detail of the Court of the Kings, in El Escorial

When the remains of Juan de Borbón and Maria Mercedes are deposited in the Royal Pantheon, they will, in a sense, constitute exceptions to tradition. First, the Counts of Barcelona, Don Juan y Doña María de las Mercedes, were never able to reign, due to the institution of the Second Republic and the exile of Alfonso XIII and his entire family, though they are the parents of a King, and their remains are in the Pantheon. Second, the Pantheon also contains the remains of Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, who, although the wife of a King, was never the mother of a King in the strict sense. Some, however, do consider Don Juan to have been de jure King of Spain, which in turn would make Queen Victoria Eugenia the mother of a King. With the interment of Don Juan and Maria's remains, all the sepulchers in the Royal Pantheon will be filled; no decision has yet been announced as to the final resting place of the currently-living members of the Royal Family.

There has already been one exception to this old tradition: Queen Elisabeth of Bourbon is for the moment the only Queen in the pantheon who has not been mother to a King. That is because her only son, the presumed Heir to the Throne, died after her.

The walls of polished Toledo marble are ornamented in gold-plated bronze.

All of the wood used in El Escorial comes from the ancient forests of Sagua La Grande, on the so-called Golden Coast of Cuba.

Pantheon of the Princes

Completed in 1888, this is the final resting place of princes, princesses and queens who were not mothers of kings. With floors and ceiling of white marble, the tomb of Prince John of Austria is especially notable. Currently, thirty-seven of the sixty available niches are filled.

Art Gallery

Consists of works of the German, Flemish, Venetian, Lombard, Ligurian and more Italian and Spanish schools from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Architectural Museum

Wooden model of the roof

Its eleven rooms showcase the tools, cranes and other materials used in the construction of the edifice, as well as reproductions of blueprints and documents related to the project, containing some very interesting facts.

The Casita del Principe, was built in 1771-75 to designs of Juan de Villanueva, for the Prince of the Asturias, the future Carlos IV

Gardens of the Friars

Constructed at the order of Philip II, a great lover of nature, these constitute an ideal place for repose and meditation. Manuel Azaña, who studied in the monastery's Augustinian-run school, mentions them in his Memorias (Memoirs) and his play El jardín de los frailes (The Garden of the Friars). Students at the school still use it today to study and pass the time.

Library

Philip II donated his personal collection of documents to the building, and also undertook the acquisition of the finest libraries and works of Spain and foreign countries. It was planned by Juan de Herrera, who also designed the library’s shelves; the frescoes on the vaulted ceilings were painted by Pellegrino Tibaldi. The library’s collection consists of more than 40,000 volumes, located in a great hall fifty-four meters in length, nine meters wide and ten meters tall with marble floors and beautifully carved wood shelves.

The library
Ceilling in the main stairway.
Chamber of the Infants.
Armillary sphere.

Benito Arias Montano produced the initial catalog for the library, selecting many of the most important volumes. In 1616 he was granted the privilege of receiving a copy of every published work, though there is no evidence that he ever took advantage of this right.

The vault of the library's ceiling is decorated with frescoes depicting the seven liberal arts: Rhetoric, Dialectic, Music, Grammar, Arithmetic, Geometry and Astronomy.

The reliquaries

Following a rule approved by the Council of Trent dealing with the veneration of saints, Philip II donated to the monastery one of the largest reliquaries in all of Catholicism. The collection consists of some 7500 relics, which are stored in 570 sculpted reliquaries designed by Juan de Herrera. Most of them were constructed by the artisan, Juan de Arfe Villafañe. These reliquaries are found in highly varied forms (heads, arms, pyramidal cases, coffers, etc.) and are distributed throughout the monastery, with the most important being concentrated in the basilica.

Adjacent buildings

Juan de Herrera also designed the Casas de Oficios or Official Buildings opposite the monastery's north façade, and his successor, Francisco de Mora, designed the Casa de la Compaña (Company Quarters).

See also

San Lorenzo de El Escorial
San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Entrance)

References

  1. ^ UNESCO (2008). "The Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and Natural Surroundings". http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/1026/. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  2. ^ Mary Crawford Volk (1987-03-01). "Building the Escorial". The Art Bulletin: 150–53. http://www.jstor.org/pss/3051093. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  3. ^ Fodor's Review (2008). "Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial". http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/spain/madrid/review-101150.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  4. ^ Fodor's Review (2008). "Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial". http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/spain/madrid/review-101150.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  5. ^ Fodor's Review (2008). "Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial". http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/spain/madrid/review-101150.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  6. ^ Juan Rafael de la Cuadra Blanco (2005). «King Philip of Spain as Solomon the Second. The origins of Solomonism of the Escorial in the Netherlands», en The Seventh Window. The King's Window donated by Phillip II and Mary Tudor to Sint Janskerk (1557), p. 169-180 (concept & editing Wim de Groot, Verloren Publishers, Hilversum ed.). Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren. ISBN 90-6550-822-8. 
  7. ^ René Taylor 1. Arquitectura y Magia. Consideraciones sobre la Idea de El Escorial, Ediciones Siruela, Madrid, enhanced from monograph in Rudolph Wittkower's 1968 festschrift. 2. Hermetism and the Mystical Architecture of the Society of Jesus in "Baroque Art: The Jesuit Contribution" by Rudolf Wittkower & Irma Jaffe
  8. ^ MSN Encarta (2008). "El Escorial". http://www.microsoftencarta.org/media_701765764/El_Escorial.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  9. ^ Tenth International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (2004). "El Escorial". http://www.ac.uma.es/hpca10/pamphlets/el_escorial.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 

External links

Coordinates: 40°35′20″N 4°08′53″W / 40.589°N 4.148°W / 40.589; -4.148


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ESCORIAL, or Escurial, in Spain, one of the most remarkable buildings in Europe, comprising at once a convent, a church, a palace and a mausoleum. The Escorial is situated 3432 ft. above the sea, on the south-western slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama, and thus within the borders of the province of Madrid and the kingdom of New Castile. By the Madrid-Avila railway it is 31 m. N.W. of Madrid. The surrounding country is a sterile and gloomy wilderness exposed to the cold and blighting blasts of the Sierra.

According to the usual tradition, which there seems no sufficient reason to reject, the Escorial owes its existence to a vow made by Philip II. of Spain (1556-1598), shortly after the battle of St Quentin, in which his forces succeeded in routing the army of France. The day of the victory, the 10th of August 1557, was sacred to St Laurence; and accordingly the building was dedicated to that saint, and received the title of El real monasterio de San Lorenzo del Escorial. The last distinctive epithet was derived from the little hamlet in the vicinity which furnished shelter, not only to the workmen, but to the monks of St Jerome who were afterwards to be in possession of the monastery; and the hamlet itself is generally but perhaps erroneously supposed to be indebted for its name to the scoriae or dross of certain old iron mines. The preparation of the plans and the superintendence of the work were entrusted by the king to Juan Bautista de Toledo, a Spanish architect who had received most of his professional education in Italy. The first stone was laid in April 1563; and finder the king's personal inspection the work rapidly advanced. Abundant supplies of berroquena, a granitelike stone, were obtained in the neighbourhood, and for rarer materials the resources of both the Old and the New World were put under contribution. The death of Toledo in 1567 threatened a fatal blow at the satisfactory completion of the enterprise, but a worthy successor was found in Juan Herrera, Toledo's favourite pupil, who adhered in the main to his master's designs. On the 13th of September 1584 the last stone of the masonry was laid, and the works were brought to a termination in 1593. Each successive occupant of the Spanish throne has done something, however slight, to the restoration or adornment of Philip's convent-palace, and Ferdinand VII. (1808-1833) did so much in this way that he has been called a second founder. In all its principal features, however, the Escorial remains what it was made by the genius of Toledo and Herrera working out the grand, if abnormal, desires of their master.

The ground plan of the building is estimated to occupy an area of 396,782 sq. ft., and the total area of all the storeys would form a causeway 1 metre in breadth and 95 m. in length. There are seven towers, fifteen gateways and, according to Los Santos, no fewer than 12,000 windows and doors. The general arrangement is shown by the accompanying plan. Entering by the main entrance the visitor finds himself in an atrium, called the Court of the Kings (Patio de los reyes), from the 16th-century statues of the kings of Judah, by Juan Bautista Monegro, which adorn the facade of the church. The sides of the atrium are unfortunately occupied by plain ungainly buildings five storeys in height, awkwardly accommodating themselves to the upward slope of the ground. Of the grandeur of the church itself, however, there can be no question: it is the finest portion of the whole Escorial, and, according to Fergusson, deserves to rank as one of the great Renaissance churches of Europe. It is about 340 ft. from east to west by 200 from north to south, and thus occupies an area of about 70,000 sq. ft. The dome is 60 ft. in diameter, and its height at the centre is about 320 ft. In glaring contrast to the bold and simple forms of the architecture, which belongs to the Doric style, were the bronze and marbles and pictures of the high altar, the masterpiece of the Milanese Giacomo Trezzo, almost ruined by the French in 1808. Directly under the altar is situated the pantheon or royal mausoleum, a richly decorated octagonal chamber with upwards of twenty niches, occupied by black marble urnas or sarcophagi, kept sacred for the dust of kings or mothers of kings. There are the remains of Charles V. (1516-1556), of Philip II., and of all their successors on the Spanish throne down to Ferdinand VII., with the exception of Philip V. (1700-1746) and Ferdinand VI. (1746-1759). Several of the sarcophagi are still empty. For the other members of the royal family there is a separate vault, known as the Panteon de los Infantes, or more familiarly by the dreadfully suggestive name of El Pudridero. The most interesting room in the palace is Philip II.'s cell, from which through an opening in the wall he could see the celebration of mass while too ill to leave his bed.

The library, situated above the principal portico, was at one time one of the richest in Europe, comprising the king's own collection, the extensive bequest of Diego de Mendoza, Philip's ambassador to Rome, the spoils of the emperor of Morocco, Muley Zidan (1603-1628) and various contributions from convents, churches and cities. It suffered greatly in the fire of 1671, and has since been impoverished by plunder'and neglect. Among its curiosities still extant are two New Testament Codices of the 10th century and two of the 11th; various works by Alphonso the Wise (1252-1284), a Virgil of the 14th century, a Koran of the 15th, &c. Of the Arabic manuscripts which it contained in the 17th century a catalogue was given in J. H. Hottinger's I. Principal entrance and portico.

2. Court of the kings (Patio de los reyes). 3. Vestibule of the church.

4. Choir of the seminarists.

5. Centre of the church and projection of the dome.

6. Greater chapel.

7. High altar.

8. Chapel of St John.

9. Chapel of St Michael. to. Chapel of St Maurice.

11. Chapel of the Rosary.

12. Tomb of Louisa Carlota.

13. Chapel of the Patrocinio. Views and Plan of the Escorial.' 14. Chapel of the Cristo de la buena muerte. 15. Chapel of the Eleven Thousand Virgins.

16. Former Chapel of the Patrocinio. 17. Sacristy.

Palace 18. Principal court of the palace.

19. Ladies' tower.

20. Court of the masks.

21. Apartments of the royal children.

22. Royal oratory.

23. Oratory where Philip II. died.

Seminary 24. Entrance to seminary.

25. Classrooms.

26. Old philosophical hall.

27. Old theological hall.

28. Chamber of secrets.

29. Old refectory.

30. Entrance to the college.

31. College yard.

Convent 32. Clock tower.

33. Principal cloister.

34. Court of the evangelists.

35. Prior's cell.

36. Archives.

37. Old church.

38. Visitors' hall.

39. Manuscript library.

40. Convent refectory.

Promptuarium sive bibliotheca orientalis, published at Heidelberg in 1658, and another in the 18th, in M. Casiri's Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispanica (2 vols., Madrid, 1760-1770). Of the artistic treasures with which the Escorial was gradually enriched, it is sufficient to mention the frescoes of Peregrin or Pellagrino Tibaldi, Luis de Carbajal, Bartolommeo Carducci or Carducho, and Luca Giordano, and the pictures of Titian, Tintoretto and Velasquez. These paintings all date from the 15th or the 17th century. Many of those that are movable have been transferred to Madrid, and many others have perished by fire or sack. The conflagration of 1671, already mentioned, raged for fifteen days, and only the church, a part of the palace, and two towers escaped uninjured. In 1808 the whole building was exposed to the ravages of the French soldiers under General La Houssaye. On the night of the 1st of October 1872, the college and seminary, a part of the palace and the upper library were devastated by fire; but the damage was subsequently repaired. In 1885 the conventual buildings were occupied by Augustinian monks.

The reader will find a remarkable description of the emotional influence of the Escorial in E. Quinet's Vacances en Espagne (Paris, 1846), and for historical and architectural details he may consult the following works:-Fray Juan de San Geronimo, Memorias sobre la fundacion del Escorial y su fabrica, in the Coleccion de documentos ineditos Para la historia de Espana, vol. vii.; Y. de Herrera, Sumario y breve declaration de los disenos y estampas de la fab. de S. Lorencio el Real del Escurial (Madrid, 1589); Jose de Siguenza, Historia de la orden de San Geronyno, &c. (Madrid, 1590).

' Reduced from a large plan of the Escorial in the British Museum, Monasterio del Escorial, published at Madrid in 1876.

L. de Cabrera de Cordova, Felipe Segundo (Madrid, 1619); James Wadsworth, Further Observations of the English Spanish Pilgrime (London, 1629, 1630); Ilario Mazzorali de Cremona, Le Reali Grandezze del Escuriale (Bologna, 1648); De los Santos, Descripcion del real monasterio, &c. (Madrid, 1657); Andres Ximenes, Descripcion, &c. (Madrid, 1764); Y. Quevedo, Historia del Real Monasterio, &c. (Madrid, 1849); A. Rotondo, Hist. artistica,. .. del monasterio de San Lorenzo (Madrid, 1856-1861); W. H. Prescott, Life of Philip II. (London, 1887); J. Fergusson, History of the Modern Styles of Architecture (London, 1891-1893); Sir W. Stirling-Maxwell, Annals of the Artists of Spain (London, 1891).


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