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El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and school. It is located about 45 kilometres (28 miles) northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Philip II of Spain, reacting to the Protestant Reformation sweeping through Europe during the 16th century, devoted much of his lengthy reign (1556-1598) and much of his seemingly inexhaustible supply of New World gold to stemming the Protestant tide. His protracted efforts were, in the long run, partly successful. However, the same counter-reformational impulse had a much more benign expression, thirty years earlier, in Philip's decision to build the complex at El Escorial. Philip engaged the Spanish architect, Juan Bautista de Toledo, to be his collaborator in the design.

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El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and school. It is located about 45 kilometres (28 miles) northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Philip II of Spain, reacting to the Protestant Reformation sweeping through Europe during the 16th century, devoted much of his lengthy reign (1556-1598) and much of his seemingly inexhaustible supply of New World gold to stemming the Protestant tide. His protracted efforts were, in the long run, partly successful. However, the same counter-reformational impulse had a much more benign expression, thirty years earlier, in Philip's decision to build the complex at El Escorial. Philip engaged the Spanish architect, Juan Bautista de Toledo, to be his collaborator in the design. More...

 
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