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Royal Barracks

Founded in 1717 by Felipe V to lodge new troops in the city; it is comprised by three buildings that are integrated in the urban ensemble. They represent the first Bourbon construction in San Lorenzo de El Escorial.

The new dynasty's enlarged courtesan entourage and its different way of understanding the Monastery and its surroundings were the decisive bases for its construction. The Royal Barracks are in front of the Cavalry barracks using part of some of the stables' lands.

The building has a central pavilion and two others at the ends that were joined by intermediate rooms. All were of two levels and were divided by solid bossed pilasters. This characteristic shows a very possible French influence.

The building was the object of successive remodelling by Juan Esteban, Juan de Ocaña and Juan de Villanueva.

At the beginning of the 19th century with the French Invasion the Estate became a defensive enclave of great importance. After their defeat and leaving the area in 1813, the French troops caused the burning of the main barracks, of which only their façades were conserved.

The lack of funds prevented its reconstruction so it remained in ruins for many years. The building was divided in five parts that were sold to private individuals and were transformed into dwellings, although they kept their exterior dimensions.

In the 20th century its height was increased, losing its original combining unity and took on the commercial and catering uses that exist at present.

In the 1960's the demolition of two of the five houses that comprised it made it impossible to recognise the block as an urban ensemble

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