Construction of El Escorial began in 1563 and ended in 1584.The project was conceived by King Philip II, who wanted a building to serve the multiple purposes of a burial place for his father, Holy Roman emperor Charles V; a Hieronymite monastery; and a palace.The first architect, Juan Bautista de Toledo, designed the ground plan on a gridiron scheme, recalling the grill on which San Lorenzo, the patron of the building, was martyred.After Toledo’s death, Juan de Herrera took up work on the project.
Palace of Felipe II.
Built around the apse of the basilica on the east side of the building, the Palace of Felipe II includes the rooms (Habsburg Apartments) used by the King during his stay at El Escorial.
El Greco - View of Toledo - The Art Wolf
Of particular interest are the "Calvary" of Van der Weyden, the "Martyrdom of Saint Maurice and the Theban Legion" by El Greco, and the 16th century Flemish tapestries.