It is huge and austere, built on a groundplan intended to represent a grill or gridiron, the instrument of martydom of St Lawrence, to whom it is dedicated. It would appear that the reason for this is that the king who commissioned it, Phillip the 2nd, was feeling guilty about accidentally destroying another church dedicated to the toasted saint during a battle.
Inside, there are royal appartments from both the 16th and 17th centuries, with decor and art to match, a rather creepy basement full of endless tombs of royal relations and the fabulously decorated library. Sadly, photography is not allowed inside so I can’t show you any of them, although a Google image search will sort you out (try “escorial library”).
Here’s a photo of the main entrance:
And here’s my Lego version, which uses a rogue grey part because I only have two of them in tan with me and it seemed like the best solution: