Experience the grandeur of the El Escorial monastery on a guided half-day trip from Madrid. Afterwards, visit the poignant Valley of the Fallen monument erected in memory of the millions who died in the Spanish Civil War. Gain insights into Spain’s intriguing history at these symbolic monuments reflecting the Spanish monarchy, church and 20th-century conflict.
The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real was built by King Philip II to house the remains of his parents, Charles I and Isabella of Portugal. The austere Renaissance complex combines a palace and monastery, and features a wonderful collection of art. On your visit, an experienced guide will take you for a tour of the complex, including the Pantheon of Kings and basilica.
Located six miles (9.5 kilometers) north of El Escorial lies the Valley of the Fallen, a vast basilica built into the side of a mountain and topped by a gigantic granite cross. The monument was built by the Spanish dictator General Franco to remember the dead of Spain’s Civil War. You’ll take a guided tour inside the basilica, and admire the spectacular valley landscape surrounding the complex.