In addition to exploring gardens in the time of Cervantes, our 2018 REEP McLAREN Scholars will be studying faith gardens. Spain is a wonderful place to explore this theme, especially because of its Moorish and Catholic history. Inés and I visited Escorial this afternoon to see one of the most famous monastery gardens in Spain – that of Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial. We hope to take our Scholars here next year.
Better known simply as ‘El Escorial’, this incredible Royal Monastery was built by Phillip II in the late 16th century as a place to see out his final years. Today the site is managed by Patrimonial Nacional – the Spanish ‘National Trust’ – and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.