San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which looks like a fairytale castle, is where all of Spain’s royal families are laid to rest.


The El Escorial at San Lorenzo, #Spain. #Travel #latergram

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

El Escorial, UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a monastery, a royal place, a museum and a school. King Philip II, the most pious king on all of Spain, built the palace for his father to rest his tomb. Now, this is where all of Spain’s royal families are laid to rest.

This enormous castle sits in the small town of San Lorenzo. It looks like it’s straight from a fairytale book. The streets are narrow but I love how the landscape appears between the pastel buildings.

I went to El Escorial with no expectations, but left with such a rich impression. Photos are forbidden out of respect for the dead, but if you want to get a glimpse of El Escorial watch the movie, Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett. Parts of the scenes were filmed inside.

The Basilica is the central part of the El Escorial. King Philip II was so pious that he built a secret pathway that connected his bedroom to the Basilica. His personal library holds over 40,000 books in meticulously carved wooden shelves. The floor is made of gleaming marble and the ceiling is made of beautiful frescoes.

There is a chamber of tomb for the royal infants who didn’t make it past puberty. Almost everything is gilded in gold and intricately carved on marble stones. Adjacent to the tomb chamber is the room where the Kings of Spain and their wives are laid to rest.

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.