Standing outside the side facade at El Escorial, looking at another work of the church, one cannot help but wonder what the world of architecture would have been without the church and its money.
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. Today, it is a huge tourist attraction as day trippers from Madrid journey down here, but after visiting El Escorial, I was left a bit annoyed by the overzealous security guards, who stopped me from taking pictures inside, but would turn a blind eye to others taking pictures inside the basilica.
I was only able to photograph a couple times inside the basilica before the security guards were becoming a bit too beligerent.
Eventually walking around, the guards started to follow and informed me again that no pictures were to be taken on the inside of the Monastery. My knowing Spanish contigent was also surprised by this development. The only good thing is that because we had not come through the front of El Escorial but rather the side entrance, we didn’t end up paying anything to get in.
The views on the outside on such a cold brisk day were phenomenal though.
The little town itself is quaint and the small cobblestone streets are so typically European.