Royal Apartments : Michelin's recommendations
The northeast wing of the buildings was occupied by the Bourbons while the apartments of Felipe II encircled the apse of the church and the Patio de los Mascarones. The staircase built under Carlos IV leads up to the Palacio de los Borbones (3rd floor) with sumptuous Pompeian ceilings and fine tapestries, some made by the Royal Tapestry Works in Madrid, others of Flemish manufacture. A number were based on cartoons by Goya on popular subjects, others were by Teniers; a Neptune was part of the Telemachus series woven in Holland. The Sala de las Batallas impresses both by its dimensions and its austerity. It is decorated by frescoes (1587), the one on the south wall depicts the victory of Higueruela over the Moors in the 15C and that on the north wall, the battle of St Quentin. After the ostentation of the Bourbons, the Habitaciones de Felipe II (2nd floor) and those of the Infanta Isabel Clara seem most subdued: a series of small rooms whose main decorative feature is Talavera ceramic tiles on the walls. In the king's room, where he died in 1598 at the age of 71, is a door which leads into the church that enabled him to take part in services from his bed. On the walls, admire a St Christopher by Patinir and a portrait of the king in his old age by Pantoja de la Cruz. Facing the gardens and the plain, the Salón del Trono is hung with 16C Brussels tapestries. The Sala de los Retratos, which follows, is adorned with royal portraits.
- Address : av. e Juan de Borbon y Battemberg E - 28200 El Escorial28200El Escorial
- Prices : free of charge