El Escorial

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

El Escorial


a city in Spain, in Madrid Province, New Castile. Situated in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama. Population, about 4,000 (1970).

El Escorial is the site of Philip II’s palace-monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, generally called the Escorial (1563-84, architects J. B. de Toledo and J. de Herrera). The Escorial is an isolated, severe, and majestic rectangular ensemble with towers at its corners. It contains 16 inner courtyards, a square domed church that is the compositional center of the ensemble, a palace, a seminary, a monastery library, and a mausoleum.

The Escorial is built of bluish gray granite; the only building in the ensemble that has exterior decoration is the baroque mausoleum (completed 1654, architect G. B. Crescenzi). The Escorial contains paintings and sculptures from the 16th to 18th centuries, including works by F. Zurbarán, El Greco, J. Ribera, D. Velásquez, and Titian. A pavilion known as the Casita del Principe was added to the ensemble in 1772 (architect J. de Villanueva).


Bertrand, L. Histoire d’Escorial. Paris, 1932.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dubai: El Escorial Library and the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage are to sign a memorandum of understanding to preserve manuscripts.
El Escorial Library, located in central Spain in San Lorenzo de El Escorial near Madrid, houses more than 4,700 manuscripts in numerous languages and 40,000 printed books.
Juma Al Majid and I met Bishop Juan Luis in El Escorial Library to discuss cooperation with them regarding ancient manuscripts," said Daghestani.
Under the agreement, a team from the Juma Al Majid Centre will visit El Escorial Library to make copies of manuscripts.
For those unfamiliar with the Kitab al-I'tibar, the surviving, incomplete manuscript of the text was preserved in the Escorial Library in Spain, where it was first reconstructed by Hartwig Derenbourg in 1880.
This might in turn explain the notorious difficulties that accompanied visiting and using the Escorial library, which annoyed scholars then and has bothered historians ever since.
The next half-dozen essays start with Colin Thompson's 'Reading the Escorial library: Fray Jose de Siguenza and the culture of Golden-Age Spain', which effectively takes a step into art history to arrive at some far-reaching conclusions.
This was, it seems, the copy of the work Averroes used, and it remained in Spain until it burned in the fire of 1671 at the Escorial library. I have argued elsewhere that Maimonides did not have access to the full text of the Ethics until he arrived in Egypt.