El Escorial (Posted 8-2-2010)

Julie and I toured a popular attraction last week. Known to the Spanish as “the monastery” or after the town of its locale, El Escorial, the magnificent structure sprawls across a mountainside just 30 miles outside of Madrid. El Escorial is a symbol of the Catholic counter reformation of the sixteenth century. King Philip the II ordered its construction on an abounding supply of gold obtained from the new world explorations. In many ways, his efforts to counter the reformation of northern Europe were successful. Protestantism did not reach Spain, and it hasn’t to this day.

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