Archive for August 30th, 2016

August 30, 2016

La Granja de San Ildefonso, a palace in the mountains

On our way back from Segovia we came up the mountain of Navacerrada to see La Granja de San Ildefonso and its Palace. I have to say ,never been here, even if heard all about for yeeears and coming down to Madrid several times a year. Been with the family and already at Segovia , I said ,this is the closest I will ever be so let’s give a visit. It is about 11 kms from Segovia.

We arrive on time, but the palace was getting some facelift, and we did not go in , and believe or not ; I was not impressed. Maybe so used to the best castles/palaces in Europe , especially France and Spain, seen this one was a bit letdown. Nevertheless , the gardens are gorgeous and a brief visit while from Segovia will be good.

The tourist office of the Spanish heritage monuments in Spanish  is at  Spain National Monuments on San Ildefonso

The national tourist office of Spain is here in English:  Tourist office of Spain on San Ildefonso

And the tourist office of the  Royal Palace of  San Ildefonso, La Granja,  Tourism San Ildefonso

We were able to find parking just outside the property gates around the corner restaurant.  The we set out to walk Inside. We saw the palace and the rénovations and proceeded to the gardens.

King Felipe V (who is the Grandson of King Louis XIV of France and was born at Versailles1683) acquired the land and building of the Jeronimos in 1721.  Construction continues into the reign of king Carlos III. The garden is surrounded by several fountains with the best looking one the one call Fuente de Neptuno as per photo. The gardens have more than 12,000 trees in-line, 70,000 trees in total , and 30 kms of lawn with 26 fountains.  It has a total area of 146 hectares and a high wall of 6 kms around encircle the garden. The highest point is at the Ultimo Pino at 1325 meters high and the lowest point is at the Puerta del Vivero.

The work on the Palace of San Ildefonso, continues from 1725  to 1732,and the Patio de Coches (carriages) is built where today visitors entered the palace.   Next to the palace you see the Real Colegiata de la Santisima Trinidad Church where the tomb of Felipe V and his wife Isabel de Farnesio are laid.

Spanish history here a bit intro: At this palace was the summer residence of the Bourbon kings and held the wedding of Carlos IV with Maria Luisa de Parma, the signing of the Treaty of San Ildefonso between Spain and France, the sargeants in the revolt obliges Maria Cristina de Nàpoles of proclaimed the Constitution of 1812.  Here too , was a place for receptions of embassies, births and baptism amongt them those of the Infanta Isabel (la Chata) and Don Juan (father of former King Juan Carlos I of Spain) Grandfather of the current one Felipe VI.

Yes , is a nice high mountain range, very regal but the palace is smallish even thus Inside it is said to be a little Versailles lol!

Stay tune for the big city next. Cheers

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