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San Lorenzo de El Escorial
—  Municipality  —


Coat of arms
San Lorenzo de El Escorial is located in Spain
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 40°35′37″N 4°8′34″W / 40.59361°N 4.14278°W / 40.59361; -4.14278Coordinates: 40°35′37″N 4°8′34″W / 40.59361°N 4.14278°W / 40.59361; -4.14278
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Madrid
Province Madrid
Comarca Cuenca del Guadarrama
Founded 18th century
 - Alcalde José Luis Fernández-Quejo del Pozo (PP)
 - Total 56.4 km2 (21.8 sq mi)
Elevation 1,032 m (3,386 ft)
Population (2008)
 - Total 17,346
 - Density 307.6/km2 (796.6/sq mi)
 - Demonym Sanlorentino / Gurriato
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 28200
Official language(s)
Website Official website
Vista de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, en las laderas de Abantos, desde la Silla de Felipe II. En primer término, el Monasterio de El Escorial.
Plaza de la Constitución. Al fondo, la Real Basílica del Monasterio de El Escorial.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a municipality in the community of Madrid, Spain, located to the Northwest of the region in the South-Eastern side of the Sierra de Guadarrama, at the foot of the mount Abantos and Las Machotas, 29 mi (47 km) from Madrid. It is head of the same name judicial party. It is popularly called El Escorial of up, to differentiate it from the neighbouring village of El Escorial, which, for its part, is designated as El Escorial de Abajo. Your term, find the Monasterio de El Escorial and the Valley of the fallen.

The monastery and real site were declared heritage UNESCO on November 2, 1984, named "El Escurial, monastery and site".

Of this building, one of the main Spanish renacentistas monuments are has articulated a powerful tourism and hospitality, which has made San Lorenzo de El Escorial one of the main destinations of the community of Madrid.

From June 21, 2006, its term is protected by the community of Madrid as good of cultural interest, in the category of historical territory or historical site, figure in which encompass the neighbouring municipalities of El Escorial, Saint Mary of the Alameda and Zarzalejo.


Urban Geography


Location and Urban Environment

San Lorenzo de El Escorial is located on the southern slopes of the mount Abantos (5,753 ft (1,753 m)), mountain that has historically conditioned its urban path. His hamlet grew anarchic way around the Real monastery, extending up mountain. In the 18th century, the architect Villanueva John ordered its historic centre and projected different squares and streets, that they should save the strong existing gap between the monastery real market and the steep slopes of Abantos. This time date Floridablanca Street, one of the most important of the people, and the complete closure of the market with the construction of the Infantes houses. In the centuries XX and XXI, the town has been a strong urban, expansion particularly towards the South-Eastern side of Abantos.


The M-600 communicates San Lorenzo de El Escorial with the Guadarrama and A-6 (Madrid-La Coruña) motorway. Another form of importance is the M-505, that unites it with El Escorial, Galapagar and Las Rozas, and from here, with Madrid, through this highway. The town is approximately 47 km (29 mi) from the capital. The M-505 also reaches the limit with the province of Avila, to the port of the cross Green, (4,105 ft (1,251 m)), through which the municipality shares with Saint Mary of the Alameda.

Physical geography

Highlighted and Hydrography

The township's average altitude is 3,387 ft (1,032 m). Most of the town is situated on top of 3,300 ft (1,000 m) tall, including the Monasterio de El Escorial, whose location exceeds 92 ft (28 m) of this dimension. The maximum altitude is on top of Abantos, with 5,753 ft (1,753 m).

Its total area is 21.8 sq mi (56.4 km²), distributed mountainous terrain. Southward, the sanlorentino term flows through the so-called Cirque de El Escorial, flanked by the southern slopes of Abantos and the Las Machotas Northern Valley. North, along the slope to the place of Cuelgamuros, where the Valley of the fallen, near of the edge with Guadarrama Abantos Southeast. Towards the Southwest, the municipality down to El Escorial for parks and gardens of the Casita del Principe - based in this last locality.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial belongs to the basin of the River Guadarrama. The streams that are born in the mount Abantos go to the Aulencia - the main tributary of the Guadarrama-, born in Las Machotas and crosses the neighbouring village of El Escorial. The sanlorentinos streams include content in small reservoirs located within its term.


El Herrería, forest located at the foot of Abantos, puebla much of the so-called Cirque de El Escorial.

Due to the different dimensions on sits them the municipality, and differentiate multiple types of vegetation. Downstairs, about 3,000 ft (900 m) tall, highlights the adehesadas fresnedas of Fraxinus angustifolia; and in the forest of the Herrería, the melojares of Quercus pyrenaica, chestnut (Castanea sativa) and the Montpellier Maple (Acer monspessulanum).

In the higher dimensions (3,300-6,300 mi (1,000-1,200 m)), as a result of a lower freatismo and a statement of solana appear pine of Pinus pinaster and Pinus pinea, as well as Holm (Quercus ilex), salpicados of junipers (Juniperus oxycedrus) and jarales of Cistus ladanifer. The 3,900 and 5,600 ft (1,200 and 1,700 m), include pine Pinus (Pinus sylvestris) and pine tree (Pinus nigra), and roquedo in the summits of Abantos graníticos blocks ecosystems.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial also hosts some allochthonous in their mountains, plant species as beech (American beech), pinsapos (abies forests), Cedar s (Cedrus sp.), larch (Larix SP.), cipreses of Lawson (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) or maple (Acer pseudoplatanus). These populations of trees were planted by students of the school of forestry early 20th century.

The people also gathers historical trees, the sequoias case (Sequoiadendron giganteum), planted in the 18th century in parks and gardens of the Casita del Principe.

Much of their municipality is contained within the site scenic del Pinar Abantos and the Herrería zone, protected natural space become 1961 to San Lorenzo de El Escorial shares with Saint Mary of the Alameda.

The end of San Lorenzo, are in the center of environmental education Arboretum Luis Ceballos, which houses a collection of over 200 species of tree and Bush Spain and Balearic Islands natives.


The Monasterio de El Escorial was built in 16th century. Two centuries later emerged in the vicinity of the building, which would result, in the 19th century, in the current municipality hamlet.
Charles III of Spain promoted a new territorial and administrative framework in the Real site, which can be seen as the source of the current municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.

History of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is inexorably linked to the construction of the monasterio homonym and the El Escorial, villa that emerged as segregation. The first historical references of this building date year 1558 where Philip II of Spain appointed a Commission to find a proper place for the site, architects, doctors and quarrymen, among other guilds.[1]

Hamlet El Escorial met physical conditions for carrying out such company.[2] Its abundance of forests, quarries and game reserves, the quality of its water and its place in the geographic center of Spain, at the foot of the mount Abantos, were determining factors for your final choice, which took place in 1561.

The first stone of the monastery was April 23, 1563. A year earlier, Philip II of Spain began to acquire the land adjacent to the lot where was to build the monastery, with the intention of creating a territory of realengo, real site de El Escorial, named for agricultural, fishing, hunting and recreational uses. Among them were the Dehesa of the ironworks of Fuentelámparas (today called La Herrería), located in the current term of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and La Granjilla of the Fresneda, farms in the neighbouring village of El Escorial.

Works lasted 21 years, over which the urban and social environment El Escorial was transformed. The escurialense hamlet became villa in 1565.[3] It was equipped with Mayor Mayor, exercised its functions strictly on the city centre. Not the case on the game, reserves managed directly by the Crown, nor about agricultural uses managed by the monastery prior land.

In the ecclesiastical order, the place was unbound from the powerful Archbishop of Toledo to rely directly on the prior, through two papal bullae dated 1585 and 1586.

This administrative structure remained until well into the 18th century, when the monarch Carlos III imposed a new territorial and administrative framework. The construction of houses, which was expressly prohibited in the outskirts of the monastery, was the source of a dispute, that faced the municipal authorities, promoted modify the rule, and the Ladakhi, which sought to keep it. The subject was particularly delicate in those days, given the frequent visits of the Royal family to the site, led to an increase in demand for soil, mainly for civil servants at the service of the Royal household.

The resolution of the conflict came from the own monarch, which on May 3, 1767 authorized housing next to the market of the monastery, which is the founding core of San Lorenzo de El Escorial hands and the beginning of a process which will culminate in the emancipation of this people to El Escorial. The development of this new Hamlet was very fast, extent to post more than thousand neighbors few years after the decision of Carlos III.

The new people emerged at the foot of the monastery did not reach own legal entity until much later. The administrative structure designed by Philip II of Spain was blurring, first with the appointment of a Governor of the real site from Carlos III - prejudice to the powers of the Mayor Mayor El Escorial prior- and, subsequently, with the privatization of land which took place with the 17th of 1820.

This was key to the configuration of the current municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, since became hands private virtually all real site except the Herrería farms and land surrounding the monastery and the Príncipe and the Infante Casitas. September 26, 1836, San Lorenzo de El Escorial originated as independent municipality. At this date had its first mayor, in 1887, became head of the same name, in which 22 people were initially integrated judicial party.

During the Guerra Civil war (1936-1939), the people remained loyal to the Republican government territory and its name was changed by the de El Escorial of the Sierra.[4]

Today of San Lorenzo de El Escorial judicial party consists of 12 localities: Colmenar of the Arroyo, Colmenarejo, El Escorial, Fresnedillas the olive, Navalagamella, Chavela Robledo, Saint Mary of the Alameda, Valdemaqueda, Valdemorillo, Villanueva of the pardillo and Zarzalejo, and the own San Lorenzo de El Escorial.


Queen Victoria Street, in the historical center.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial has 17,346 inhabitants, according to the National Institute of statistics (INE), data relating to 2008. It has a density of population of 118.75 inhabitants/square mi (307.55 inhabitants/km²), similar to other municipalities (case El Escorial, with 83.47 inhabitants/square mi (216.18 inhabitants/km²) area, but much lower than the average regional (301.86 inhabitants/square mi (781.82 inhabitants/km²)). In relation to the Spanish average, located in the aforementioned 35.3 inhabitants/square mi (91.4 inhabitants/km²), year local exceeded the national datum.

Referring to the year 2006, 51.7% of the sanlorentinos are women and the remaining 48.3% are men. Questioned foreigners represent 10.07%. The average age is 37.8 years. The relative growth of the population is of 4.2%, according to the reference 2006.

The floating population of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is very high. This is a major residential kernel, which have proliferated second homes, preferential usage during weekends and vacation periods. In addition, the municipality receives daily large numbers of tourists attracted by its historical and natural heritage.

Population developments of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
1996 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
10,828 10,995 11,350 11,783 12,455 13,164 14,358 14,971 14,364 16,005 16,531 17,346

Note: 1996 figures are referring to May 1 and the other to January 1. Source: INE


Plaza de la Cruz, one of the corners of the historical center.

Tourism, hospitality and trade are the main economic activities of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The municipality is one of the most important tourist destinations in the community of Madrid. Visitors preferably made a transit with Madrid tourism as a starting point. The overnight stays of tourists are irrelevant, as in other monumental cities in the region, such as Alcalá de Henares, Aranjuez or Chinchón.

In recent years, the town is attempting to consolidate a tourism of accommodation, trade fairs, conventions and cultural and educational nature courses. This is the case of the Universidad Complutense, summer courses held in created to promote to San Lorenzo de El Escorial as congresses city Euroforum, installations. The municipality has 10 hotels with a total of 611 squares (year 2006).

Inside of your municipality are two of the most visited monuments between managed by national. The Monasterio de El Escorial is the second monumental with highest number of visits (504,238 tourists 2004), short of the Royal Palace in Madrid (720,710 in the same year). The Valley of the fallen, located on the outskirts of town, is the third in the national list (407,578).

The construction is another economic activity on the rise in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Although much of its term is protected, as the Herrería forests, the town has experienced a strong urban growth in recent years, with the creation of new housing developments in areas that lack of legal protection figures. This is the case of the southeastern slope of the mount Abantos, which have proliferated many neighbourhoods, especially after the August 21, 1999, fire that burned 450 acres of pine.

Artistic and natural heritage

Monasterio de El Escorial or San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
Real Basilica of the Monasterio de El Escorial.
Trades in the market of the Monasterio de El Escorial, Casas built by Juan de Herrera.
The Chair of Philip II can have a pre-Roman source.
The Valley of the fallen is the third most visited monument between managed by national.

The town has an important historical-artistic, urban and cultural heritage, fruit of its link with the Crown Spanish. It adds relevant ecological, geological and archaeological values.

Part of his monumental is registered in the list of the heritage UNESCO.[5] In addition, his term has been declared good of cultural interest, in the category of historical territory, with the name of "Escorial: monastery, site and natural and cultural environment", from the community of Madrid.[6]

This last legal figure, approved by Decree 52/2006 (June 21), also includes the towns of El Escorial, Zarzalejo and Saint Mary of the Alameda. This is the area which was within the so-called near of Philip II, with which the monarch delimited the perimeter of the real site emerged around the Monasterio.[7]

World Heritage sites

November 2, 1984, coinciding with the celebration of the IV centenary of the placement of the last stone monastery, the World Heritage Committee (World Heritage Committee) of the UNESCO, met in Buenos Aires Argentina), included "El Escurial, monastery and site" in the list of the heritage (World Heritage List).

This entry defines a territorial protection space confined mainly to the Monasterio de El Escorial, the Casita of Infante (or up) and the Casita del Principe (or down), Palace, the latter, which is within the term El Escorial: * "' Monasterio de El Escorial" '. This building, one of the main monuments renacentistas Spain, was erected in the last third of the 16th century on the mount Abantos, slope 3,373 ft (1,028 m) altitude. Due to Juan Bautista de Toledo, original project that was culminated, after his death, by Juan de Herrera, who imposed a new architectural style, baptized with your last name.[8] Occupies an area of 358,729 square feet (33,327 square meters) and has 16 patios, 88 sources, 13 oratorios, 15 Cloisters, 86 stairs, 9 towers, 1,200 doors and 2,673 Windows. Its main façade is 679 feet (207 meters) in length. The most important parts of the building, include the Pantheon of Kings, the Real Basilica and Real library. From the sixteenth, the the Escorial monastery has been described as "the eighth wonder of the world".

  • "' The Príncipe and the Infante cottages" '. This is two mansions neoclásicos 18th century. Both were built by Villanueva John as flags of recreation for Carlos IV, then Prince of Asturias and his brother Infante Bourbon Gabriel, respectively.

The territorial scope of protection laid down in the list of the heritage is currently in process of enlargement. The Spanish authorities intend to UNESCO out the heritage declaration to all the space that was included within the near of Philip II.

Sake of cultural interest in the category of territory history (historical site)

And monuments in the previous heading, the municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial meets other historical-artistic groups, who, like those, have been incorporated into the legal figure of the historical territory (historical site) of "El Escorial: monastery, site and natural and cultural environment", according to Decree 52/2006 (June 21 BOCM) community of Madrid.

Here are different buildings and natural enclaves located within its Township and other located El Escorial, Zarzalejo and Saint Mary of the Alameda. Monumental sets and landscape sanlorentinos are highlighted below:

  • "Chair Philip II",[9] where, according to legend, sat the monarch to view the progress of the works of the monastery, although it is believed that, in fact, was a vettones offerings altar.[10]
  • "' The Herrería" ', historic farm, formerly known as the Dehesa of the Fuentelámparas ironworks, possessing great ecological interest. It is populated by forests fresnos and Oaks.
  • "' Del Castañar" ', historic farm with important environmental attractions.
  • "' Park of the Casita" '. Parks and gardens built in this neoclassical Stupinigi environment are shared between the municipalities of El Escorial and San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Not building, which is in the first place.
  • "' Houses of offices" '. The first two were built by Juan de Herrera 16th century and the third, Villanueva John work data 18th century. Currently are home to a small church and different facilities managed by the Town Council of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. This is the case of the House of culture of the municipal library, the tourist office, the Conservatory professional of music father Soler and the Royal Centre for integrated music and training in plastic and artistic. Furthermore, the first House of offices is provisional headquarters of the Instituto de Estudios Herrerianos, which will host the legacy of the architect and investigator Luis Cervera Vera.
  • "' Infantes houses" '. Due to Juan de Villanueva, who rose up in 18th century.
  • "' Real Colosseum of Carlos III" ', built in 18th century, popularly known as the Bombonera theatre.[11]
  • "' The company home" '. Drawn on 16th century by Mora Francisco today serves as headquarters to University Maria Cristina.
  • "' Valley of the fallen" '. By extension, is included within the historical territory of the "El Escorial: monastery, site and natural and cultural environment" This funeral monument 20th century. Built on the initiative of the dictator of Francisco Franco, is perched on the Risco of Nava 4.56 ft (1.39) m altitude, in the place known as Cuelgamuros. A 490 ft (150 m) cross chairs the monumental, consisting of a Basilica carved on stone, a Abbey, and an Inn. Their artistic values, include the sculptures of the evangelists by D'avalos John with a size 59 ft (18 m), situated at the base of the cross.


Fernando VII was born in San Lorenzo de El Escorial in 1784.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial had close historical ties with the Crown Spanish, as place of residence and burial of different las Casas monarchs of the Austrias and the Bourbons. However, only one of them came in the locality. Was born in Royal Monastery October 14, 1784 and died Fernando VII, trafficking in Madrid September 29, 1833.

The presence of the Kings attracted towards the municipality different personalities from the world of culture and the arts. Apart from the long list of architects, sculptors and painters who participated in the 16th century in the Monasterio de El Escorial, building the population hosted in 18th century the Girona musician Antonio Soler (Olot, 1729), who died in San Lorenzo of El Escorial in 1783, where he developed most of his career.

In the centuries XIX and XX, the town became a residential kernel, which went relevant political and cultural figures. Including highlighted the Serafín Alvarez and Joaquin Álvarez Quintero, comediógrafos who lived temporarily in the municipality.

Between children born in San Lorenzo de El Escorial in 20th century, protrude poet Luis Felipe Vivanco (1907-1975), the architect John Herreros (1958) and the botanist Luis Ceballos and Fernández de Córdoba (1896-1967).

Festivals and traditions

Chapel of the Virgen de Gracia, La Herrería.

The people held their Patron Saint festivities on August 10, day of San, Holy to Philip II of Spain advocó the Monasterio de El Escorial and that, by extension, the municipality takes its name. This building was built to commemorate the victory of the battle of San Quintín, which took place on August 10, 1557.

Our Lady pilgrimage the Virgen de Gracia is without a doubt, the most important tradition of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Occurs at the beginning of September and was among the multitudinous Spain.[12] Dates a year 1948 and is declared tourist attractions by the community of Madrid.

Holy week sanlorentina stands out as one of the of greater visual richness of the guadarrameña region. Christmas, the people will install into its streets a belén major as tourist claim.


Associated Press

There are 5 crèches (2 public and 3 private), 2 public schools education primary, 1 Institute of secondary education, 3 schools private (with and without concert) in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 1 Center overseas and 1 University Centre attached to the Complutense University (University Maria Cristina).

See also

Central urban area of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, seen from the top of the mount Abantos.
  • Sierra de Guadarrama
  • Legends of the Sierra de Guadarrama
  • El Escorial monastery
  • Real Basilica of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Basilica
  • Real library of the monastery of El Escorial
  • Casita Infante or up cottage
  • Peculiar del Pinar Abantos and the Herrería zone place
  • Real Colosseum of Charles III
  • Real site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and El Escorial
  • Imperial path of the community of Madrid
  • Valley of the fallen


External links

Municipal web


Street, maps and aerial photography


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