La Granja of San Ildefonso

La Granja of San Ildefonso

La Granja de San Ildefonso, located in the Sierra de Guadarrama, was used as the summer residence of the Bourbons, is currently one of the best examples of landscaped palaces in Spain. You will not be indifferent to the shows that take place in the numerous fountains that populate your route.
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The Real Site of San Ildefonso is formed by the population centers of La Granja, Valsaín and Pradera de Navalhorno and Riofrío. A municipality located in the National Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama, whose Montes and Pinar de Valsaín occupy an area of ​​10.672 hectares and are, at present, an example of management and sustainability in the use of natural resources, making it possible to obtain Premium wood with the conservation of animal and plant species. In the 2013 year the Royal Site of San Ildefonso was declared a World Heritage Site as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

The first reference that appears from La Granja is linked to the Kings of Castile and the right they had to hunt in the mountains of Valsaín. Enrique IV (1450) and his fondness for hunting is the first construction of what would eventually be the temporary seat of the Spanish Court; it is a hunting house and a hermitage dedicated to San Ildefonso. Both constructions became property of the Jerónimos monks of El Parral de Segovia. In 1477 the Catholic Monarchs donated the Royal House of San Ildefonso to this community of religious who, on the land of the donated property, built a hostel and a farm, from which the name of this place derives.

The first Bourbon king of Spain, Felipe V, overwhelmed by the work of government, discovered the idyllic tranquility of La Granja de San Ildefonso and bought in 1720 the place for the monks to build a modest palace to retire after abdicating his son Luis. After the death of this one, it had to reign again and the palace was endowed with all the necessary rooms to lodge to the court and to become a Real Site. From the hand of architects such as Ardemans, Procaccini, and Juvarra, the traces of courtyards, facades, halls and the unmistakable front of the Royal Collegiate emerged.

The Palace and Gardens of the Royal Site of San Ildefonso were built by order of Felipe V in 1721, said Gardens stand out for the beauty of their twenty-six Monumental Fountains inspired by stories and classic characters from ancient Greece and Rome.

There are three official days of operation of the famous Fountains of the Gardens of the Royal Palace and its spectacular water games.

  • 30 de Mayo: Festivity of San Fernando. Pattern of France.
  • 25 of July: Festival of Santiago Apóstol. Pattern of Spain.
  • 25 of August: Festivity of San Luis. Pattern of La Granja de San Ildefonso
  • Open every day. Free admission (except during the operating hours of the Monumental Fountains). - Tel. 921 470 019 - 020 (National Heritage) - Tel. 921 470 328 (Palace).

Around the Royal Palace was growing the population that has a set of monumental buildings of great interest, distributed according to the illustrated urbanism imposed by Carlos III, the king who most enjoyed these places and who was most concerned about the prosperity of their neighbors .