The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a complex that includes a royal palace, a basilica, a pantheon, a library, a school and a monastery. It is located in the Spanish town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in the Community of Madrid, and was built in the 16th century between 1563 and 1584.
The palace was the residence of the Spanish royal family, the basilica is the burial place of the kings of Spain and the monastery –founded by monks of the Order of Saint Jerome– is currently occupied by friars of the Order of Saint Augustine. It is one of the most unique Renaissance architectures in Spain and Europe. Located in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, it occupies an area of 33,327 m², on the southern slope of Mount Abantos, at an altitude of 1,028 m, in the Sierra de Guadarrama. It is managed by National Heritage.
It was considered, since the end of the 16th century, the Eighth Wonder of the World, both for its size and functional complexity and for its enormous symbolic value.
On November 2, 1984, UNESCO declared the Monastery and Site of El Escorial as a World Heritage Site. It is one of the main tourist attractions in the Community of Madrid. The monumental complex receives more than 500,000 visitors a year.