There are 24 inner courtyards, and 16 kilometers of corridors, the huge palace, about 50 kilometers from the city of Madrid, is one of the largest buildings in the world. Building this building was very expensive and very fast. Actually, it was completed within 21 years, while spending enough money on construction to quicken the financial fall of the kingdom.
Thanks to the fast construction, the palace-monastery was completed fast. This leads to the impressive stylistic uniformity of the huge structure. Simply, not enough time passed during construction for styles to change.
The unique thing about this place is the breath-stopping combination between the wide and fancy palace gardens, and the natural beauty of the grounds. The massive San Lorenzo de El Escorial was built on the southern foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, and the view set from here is over the magnificent mountains and the landscape around them.
This is a huge complex; there is a palace and a monastery, and a shared library, and an impressive burial building where the kings of Spain are buried. The severe building, built in the Renaissance period, in the mid 16th century, began an important architectural precedent in Spain and has since influenced many palaces in the Spanish kingdom.
The design of the monastery built here in the severe, unkempt, almost cold style of the architect Juan de Herrera, is in sharp contrast to the monstrous and glamorous style that was popular at the height of the Renaissance, and at the time it was built.
More in the palace, you can visit the Royal Pantheon, where many of Spain's kings are buried, since Carlos I, the first king buried here. The fancy and impressive Pantheon was built in the 17th century.
Another point of interest is the El Escorial Library. This is a library that contains ancient texts, many rare writings. Actually, this library has one of the largest collections in the world of ancient handwritten texts. The collection includes over 5,000 handwritten texts in ancient languages, including Greek, Latin, Arabic, and even Hebrew.