San Lorenzo de El Escorial Royal Monastery
This building has been declared a World Heritage Site.
Constructed between 1563 and 1584 in the Renaissance style and designed by architect Juan de Herrera, this building was the political centre of Philip II of Spain's empire.
The building complex includes the Palace of Philip II, with the quarters where the king lived with his family; the Bourbon Palace designed in the eighteenth-century style and featuring excellent examples of furniture and tapestries; the Basilica, with outstanding sculptural works by the Leoni brothers and the statue of Christ crucified by Benvenuto Cellini; the Pantheon of the Kings of Spain where Spanish monarchs from both the Houses of Bourbon and Habsburg and their families are interred; an important library which holds books such as the Cantigas de Santa María and the manuscripts of Saint Teresa of Jesus; and the Monastery of the Monks of the Hieronymite order.
This palace-monastery complex also houses an art museum and an architecture museum.