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San Idelfonso information

La Granja of San Idelfonso is situated 11 kilometres from Segovia, at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains and set in unique natural surroundings is the Royal Residence of La Granja de San Ildefonso, a grand and impressive palace begun in 1721 on the site of an old lodging house.

King Felipe V retired here in 1724 and tried to create a residence in the style of court at Versailles. In order to do so, for the next 20 years he extended the gardens and the palace, which was used as a summer residence by all his successors until Alfonso XIII.

Several architects were involved in its construction and they produced a beautiful mixture of the Spanish baroque and the French style with subtle traces of Italian design. In the collegiate church lies the tomb of the monarch, accompanied by his wife Isabel de Farnesio. The palace visit takes in dazzling rooms which preserve their period decoration, paintings by Panini and Flemish painting from the 17th century, as well as beautiful tapestries gathered in the museum, which contains, among other works, the series of the Apocalyspe, from the 16th century.

The palace environment is made complete with spectacular gardens containing a variety of species of plants and decorated with statues and 26 monumental fountains, some of whose spouts throw jets of water 40 metres into the air. The collection of historic buildings is rounded off with the Royal Glass Factory of La Granja, an 18th-century structure with an ongoing collection and other temporary exhibitions devoted to the art of glass-making.

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