Since I wanted to enjoy the last days of this year´s indian summer I went to San Lorenzo del Escorial on the weekend, an impressive construction that stands on the Guadarrama mountains. It is just a 50 minutes drive from Madrid but it will most certainly take you back in time.
Built in the XVI century, it was home to Philip II as well as to the Hieronymite monks. Today, the Order of Saint Augustine takes good care of the monastery. Also, it has recently been declared World heritage by thE unesco.
The building is divided in different sections. The Basilica and the Royal Palace are on the ground floor wether the library or the hall of battles aro n the first one. Beneath the cathedral it is nowadays possible to visit the pantheon were most kings and princes from the Habsburg and the Bourbon dynasties are buried. The gardens are also magnificent as you can enjoy a great view of the city of Madrid from there.