Escorial, Spain

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Distant Views of El Escorial

Left and below: looking down the valley from the highway from Avila. In the picture at right, below, the Escorial peeps over base of the the hill on the right.
Philip II, who decreed the building of the Escorial, had an overlook constructed so he could observe the progress of construction.
Puzzling boulder, since this area was never glaciated. Probably weathered in place from an exfoliation sheet.
Left and below: Steps to the observation platform.
Left: Stone seats.


The Gardens


Pantheon of the Kings (Royal Crypt)


Courtyard of the Kings




Left: Celestial globe

Below: terrestrial globe from the 1600's.
Left and below, a giant armillary sphere. The serrated circles make it look like a formidable weapon, but they're actually degree markings. An armillary sphere was used for solving navigation and astronomical problems as well as illustrating the motions of the heavens.

Still, I bet some fingers got cut using this thing.

Exterior Views

Monument to the Eternal Tourist.
The basilica from the town of San Lorenzo

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Created 22 June 2007, Last Update 04 June 2020