ESCORIAL , or EsculuAL, inSpain, one of the most remarkable buildings in
See also:Europe, comprising at once a convent, a
See also:church, a palace and a
See also:mausoleum . The Escorial is situated 3432 ft. above the
See also:sea, on the south-western slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama, and thus within the
See also:borders of the province of
See also:Madrid and the
See also:kingdom of New
See also:Castile . By the Madrid-Avila railway it is 31 M . N.W. of Madrid . The surrounding
See also:country is a sterile and gloomy
See also:wilderness exposed to the
See also:cold and blighting I/lasts of the Sierra . According to the usual tradition, which there seems no sufficient reason to reject, the Escorial owes its existence to a vow made by
See also:Philip II. of Spain (1556–1598), shortly after the
See also:battle of St Quentin, in which his forces succeeded in routing the army of France . The
See also:day of the victory, the loth of
See also:August 1557, was sacred to St Laurence; and accordingly the
See also:building was dedicated to that
See also:saint, and received the title of El real monasterio de
See also:San Lorenzo del Escorial . The last distinctive epithet was derived from the little
See also:hamlet in the vicinity which furnished shelter, not only to the workmen, but to the monks of St Jeromewho were afterwards to be in possession of the monastery; and the hamlet itself is generally but perhaps erroneously supposed to be indebted for its name to the scoriae or dross of certain old iron mines . The preparation of the plans and the superintendence of the
See also:work were entrusted by the
See also:king to Juan Bautista de Toledo, a
See also:Spanish architect who had received most of his professional
See also:education in Italy . The first
See also:stone was laid in
See also:April 1563; and under the king's
See also:personal inspection the work rapidly advanced . Abundant supplies of berroquena, a granite-like stone, were obtained in the neighbourhood, and for rarer materials the resources of both the Old and the New
See also:World were put under contribution . The
See also:death of Toledo in 1567 threatened a fatal
See also:blow at the satisfactory completion of the enterprise, but a worthy successor was found in Juan Herrera, Toledo's favourite
See also:pupil, who adhered in the
See also:main to his
See also:master's designs .
On the 13th of
See also:September 1584 the last stone of the
See also:masonry was laid, and the
See also:works were brought to a termination in 1593 . Each successive occupant of the Spanish
See also:throne has done something, however slight, to the restoration or adornment of Philip's convent-palace, and
See also:Ferdinand VII . (1808–1833) did so much in this way that he has been called a second founder . In all its
See also:principal features, however, the Escorial remains what it was made by the
See also:genius of Toledo and Herrera working out the
See also:grand, if abnormal, desires of their master . The ground plan of the building is estimated to occupy an
See also:area of 396,782 sq. ft., and the
See also:total area of all the storeys would
See also:form a
See also:causeway ',metre in breadth and 95 M. in length . There are seven towers, fifteen gateways and, according to Los
See also:Santos, no fewer than 12,000 windows and doors . The general arrangement is shown by the accompanying plan . Entering by the main entrance the visitor finds himself in an
See also:atrium, called the
See also:Court of the
See also:Kings (
See also:Patio de los reyes), from the 16th-century statues of the kings of
See also:Judah, by Juan Bautista Monegro, which adorn the
See also:facade of the church . The sides of the atrium are unfortunately occupied by plain ungainly buildings five storeys in height, awkwardly accommodating themselves to the upward slope of the ground . Of the grandeur of the church itself, however, there can be no question: it is the finest portion of the whole Escorial, and, according to Fergusson, deserves to
See also:rank as one of the
See also:Renaissance churches of Europe . It is about 340 ft. from east to west by 200 from
See also:north to south, and thus occupies an area of about 70,000 sq. ft . The dome is 6o ft. in diameter, and its height at the centre is about 320 ft .
In glaring contrast to the bold and
See also:simple forms of the architecture, which belongs to the Doric
See also:style, were the
See also:bronze and
See also:marbles and pictures of the high
See also:altar, the masterpiece of the Milanese Giacomo Trezzo, almost ruined by the French in 18o8 . Directly under the altar is situated the
See also:pantheon or royal mausoleum, a richly decorated octagonal chamber with upwards of twenty niches, occupied by black marble urnas or sarcophagi, kept sacred for the dust of kings or mothers of kings . There are the remains of
See also:Charles V . (1516–1556), of Philip II., and of all their successors on the Spanish throne down to Ferdinand VII., with the exception of Philip V . (17o0–1746) and Ferdinand VI . (1746–1759) . Several of the sarcophagi are still empty . For the other members of the royal
See also:family there is a
See also:separate vault, known as the Panteon de los Infantes, or more familiarly by the dreadfully suggestive name of El Pudridero . The most interesting
See also:room in the palace is Philip II.'s
See also:cell, from which through an opening in the
See also:wall he could see the celebration of mass while too
See also:ill to leave his
See also:bed . The library, situated above the principal portico, was at one
See also:time one of the richest in Europe, comprising the king's own collection, the extensive bequest of Diego de
See also:Mendoza, Philip's
See also:ambassador to Rome, the spoils of the emperor of
See also:Morocco, Muley Zidan (1603–1628) and various contributions from
See also:con-vents, churches and cities . It suffered greatly in the
See also:fire of 1671, and has since been impoverished by
See also:plunder and neglect . Among its curiosities still extant are two New Testament Codices of the loth century and two of the 11th ; various works by
See also:Alphonso the Wise (1252–1284), a Virgil of the 14th century, a
See also:Koran of the 15th, &c .
Of the Arabic
See also:manuscripts which it contained in the 17th century a
See also:catalogue was given in J . H . Hottinger's :re tit !ic~r irl_ v" c_u) }} N ........ mm:1:UIHttIU H 2,1 21 21 } 21 J SJ
See also:EYE VIEW . I S11111el Views and Plan of the Escorial.' 14 .
See also:Chapel of the Cristo de la buena muerte . 27 . Old theological
See also:hall . CHURCH 15 . Chapel of the Eleven Thousand Virgins . 28 . Chamber of secrets .
I . Principal entrance and portico . 16 . Former Chapel of the Patrocinio . 29 . Oldrefectory . 2 . Court of the kings (Patio de los reyes) . 17 . Sacristy . 30 . Entrance to the
See also:college .
See also:Vestibule of the church . PALACE 31 . College yard . 4 .
See also:Choir of the seminarists . 18 . 'Principal court of the palace . CONVENT 5 . Centre of the church and
See also:projection of the 19 . Ladies' tower . dome .
20 . Court of the masks . 32 .
See also:Clock tower . 6 . Greater chapel . 21 . Apartments of the royal
See also:children . 33 . Principal cloister . 7 . High altar .
22 . Royaloratory . 34 . Court of the evangelists . 8 . Chapel of St
See also:John . 23 . Oratory where Philip II. died . 35 .
See also:Prior's cell . 9- Chapel of St Michael . SEMINARY 36 .
Archives . to . Chapel of St
See also:Maurice . 37 . Old church . 24 . Entrance to seminary . I I . Chapel of the
See also:Rosary . 38 . Visitors' hall . 12 .
See also:Tomb of Louisa Carlota . 25 . Classrooms . 39 .
See also:Manuscript library . 13 . Chapel of the Patrocinio . 26 . Old philosophical hall . 40 . Convent refectory . Promptuarium sive bibliotheca orientalis, published at
See also:Heidelberg in 1658, and another in the 18th, in M .
See also:Casiri's Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispanica (2 vols., Madrid, 176o-1770) . Of the
See also:artistic treasures with which the Escorial was gradually enriched, it is sufficient to mention the frescoes of Peregrin or Pellagrino Tibaldi, Luis de Carbajal, Bartolommeo Carducci or Carducho, and Luca
See also:Giordano, and the pictures of Titian, Tintoretto and Velasquez . These paintings all date from the 15th or the 17th century . Many of those that are movable have been transferred to Madrid, and many others have perished by fire or
See also:sack . The conflagration of 1671, already mentioned, raged for fifteen days, and only the church, a
See also:part of the palace, and two towers escaped uninjured . In 18o8 the whole building was exposed to the ravages of the French soldiers under General La
See also:Houssaye . On the
See also:night of the 1st of
See also:October 1872, the college and seminary, a part of the palace and the upper library were devastated by fire; but the damage was subsequently repaired . In 1885 the conventual buildings were occupied by Augustinian monks . The reader will find a remarkable description of the emotional influence of the Escorial in E .
See also:Quinet's Vacances en Espagne (
See also:Paris, 1846), and for
See also:historical and architectural details he may consult the following works:-Fray Juan de San Geronimo, Memorias sobre la fundacion del Escorial y su fabrica, in the Coleccion de documentos ineditos
See also:pare la historic de Espana, vol. vii.; Y. de Herrera, Sumario y breve declaration de los disenos y estampas de la fab. de S . Lorencio el Real del Escurial (Madrid, 1589); Jose de Siguenza, Historic de la orden de San Geronyno, &c . (Madrid, 1590) .
' Reduced from a large plan of the Escorial in the
See also:British Museum, Monasterio del Escorial, published at Madrid in 1876 . L. de
See also:Cabrera de Cordova, Felipe Segundo (Madrid, 1619) ;
See also:James Wadsworth, Further Observations of the
See also:English Spanish Pilgrime (
See also:London, 1629, 1630) ; Ilario Mazzorali de Cremona, Le Reali Grandezze del Escuriale (Bologna, 1648) ; De los Santos, Descripcion del real monasterio, &c . (Madrid, 1657) ;
See also:Andres Ximenes, Descripcion, &c . (Madrid, 1764) ; Y . Quevedo, Historia del Real Monasterio, &c . (Madrid, 1849) ; A . Rotondo, Hist. artistica, . . . del monasterio de San Lorenzo (Madrid, 1856–1861); W . H . Prescott,
See also:Life of Philip II . (London, 1887) ; J . Fergusson,
See also:History of the
See also:Modern Styles of Architecture (London, 1891–1893) ;
See also:Sir W .
See also:Annals of the Artists of Spain (London, 1891) .
HARRY ESCOMBE (1838–1899)
JUAN DE ESCOVEDO (d. 1J78)
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