As we have said on other occasions, Spain is a country full of contrasts, art and wonders. Of its many attractions we will highlight one in particular: La Granja de San Ildefonso, an idyllic corner with a fairytale palace and spectacular gardens.
The Farm of San Ildefonso
The full name of the place is the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, and It is one of the many royal residences built over the centuries Throughout the Spanish territory.La Granja Palace - CarlosODs
In this case, La Granja de San Ildefonso is located in Segovia, on the Royal Site of San Ildefonso, and today it is managed by National Heritage and can be visited at any time by those who like the beauty of Spanish architecture.
History of the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso
Segovia was during the Middle Ages one of the richest places in Castile. Hence, both kings and nobility frequented the area a lot. Soon Enrique III ordered the construction of a first royal refuge, and Enrique IV did the same with a shelter and a hermitage that he would dedicate to Archbishop San Ildefonso.Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso - pedrosala
It was the Catholic Monarchs who in 1477 donated this hermitage and shelter to the Jeronimos monks, located in the monastery of Parral, in Segovia. After the reforms carried out by the religious, Felipe II turned the farm into a palace that would be the residence of his successors.
However, it would be Felipe V "El Animoso" who, in love with the place, ordered a new palace to be built in the area of the hermitage of the Jerome monks. But given the French origin of the monarch, the new building received a style much more similar to Versailles. It was the beginning of the 18th century.
«Felipe V, King of Spain, has a great sense of righteousness, a great equity fund, is very religious, has a great fear of the devil, lacks vices and does not allow them in those around him.»
-Louis de Rouvroy, Duke of Saint-Simon-
How is La Granja de San Ildefonso and its palace
As we have said, The Farm of San Ildefonso and its palace depend on National Heritage, so they can be visited without problems. And there is no doubt that it is an excellent option, given the spectacular nature of the area.Gardens of La Granja de San Ildefonso - Marques
The Farm of San Ildefonso is formed by a series of buildings attached to the palace, which in turn are surrounded by immense and beautiful gardens. On the one hand we have the real building itself in the front, with the yards of the Cars and the Horseshoe.
Next to the palace we find the Royal Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, within whose walls are the remains of Felipe V and his second wife, Isabel de Farnesio. The mausoleum is really impressive.
Inside the complex we also find the Old House of the Ladies, which now hosts the famous Tapestry Museum. Another of the units attached to the palace itself is the House of Crafts. Finally, there is also the Casa de las Flores, which completes the complex.
The gardens of La Granja de San Ildefonso
In addition to the palatial complex and its wonderful interiors and exteriors, The royal gardens stand out from La Granja de San Ildefonso. Of enormous size, it is one of the great attractions of the place given its 146 hectares of careful vegetation.Gardens of La Granja - amorfati.art
Designed in the 18th century by French gardener René Carlier, This famous artist used the hills that surround the palace to provide an excellent visual perspective given the natural slopes of the area.
Further, a total of 21 ornamental fountains that decorate each corner were added and that today are worth seeing, because they have become an indispensable attraction of the complex of La Granja de San Ildefonso.
The fountains revolve around classical mythology and are decorated with deities and allegories. Some of the most famous are those of La Fama, the Horse Race, the New Waterfall, The Winds, The Jungle, The Conch or High and Low Dragons.Fountain of the Baths of Diana - Antonio Marín Segovia / Flickr.com
The water that some of them throw can reach up to 40 meters high. They take advantage of a water supply system that comes from surrounding streams in the area of Morete, Cacera de Peñalara or Carneros, among others. Ponds were also created to facilitate water supply. The Frogs, the Sores or the Eight Streets are some of the most famous.
Do not think about it anymore and approach La Granja de San Ildefonso and its wonderful palace to know one of the most beautiful and spectacular places in Spain. There is no doubt that Real art takes on special prominence in this idyllic passage.