Friday, September 13, 2013

Site Visit: The Royal Seat—El Escorial, Madrid

The Royal Seat by Breanna Davis

The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is an historical residence of the King of Spain in the town it is named after, San Lorenzo de El Escorial. It is a monastery (my reason for visiting), royal palace, museum, and school.

Being made for royalty, the place is huge. Walking through the first door, the ceilings are high and the space is open. From there, it leads directly into an open court with about 10 other doors leading to different corridors. Depending on which you take, you’ll either end up in the first room of the museum or in the garden. Since I choose the museum, I was tired before I even made it to the section leading to the garden before I quit and decided to return another day when jetlag wasn’t my companion.

In the first room of the museum, there are the designs of the building which is based upon the blueprint of Solomon’s Temple. There are backway passages that hold original tools of the brick made castle. There are huge, thick pieces of rope that I couldn’t have lifted if I were allowed and I’ve got moderate upper body strength.

From there, the art gallery is dominant. There are paintings from everywhere in here. Spanish artists and Italian artists were the most dominant. Multiple rooms. I believe I walked through about 10 of them when I realized there were just too many for me to see that day alone. There were carpet murals of Jesus and His life, those of the apostles, and various saints of the Spanish culture. All of these rooms had high arches and most were long rectangular rooms.

In other rooms of the gallery, which was 3 floors worth, there were artifacts. I think that my favorite rooms were the ones on the royal floor. They had inlaid wooden doors that were overlaid with murals and some with gold and other rare metals.  From the corridors on this floor, the gardens were visible through the windows. I snuck pictures of those.

All in all, the entire place showed forth its dominance and power. From the tall, tall walls to the large rooms just flowing with power, the strength of the monarch was able to be felt. The place demanded reverence. The next time I go, I plan to stop by the library with I have heard has sweeping ceilings covered with paintings.

The only things I was allowed to take pictures of (and actually, I sneaked them) were the gardens. Next time I plan on going as a patron, which was my original goal in the first place. I like holy places. Maybe this way I'll be able to get a photo or two of the inside.


Earl Grey said...

Your visit sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your photographs. I wish I could see this in person!

breanna davis said...

Earl Grey: Thank you! I'm truly enjoying myself.