The book “Descripcion del Real monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial” was written by Francisco de Los Santos in the year 1698. The book is dedicated to the royal majesty, the king of Spain and Its main purpose is, as the title already hints, to describe the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo.
I’ll focus on the concept of arrangement. Through this concept, we can analyze the book but also get a closer understanding of the monastery itself.
The work is subdivided into several “books” (“libro primero” & “libro Segundo”), as well as an Introduction-part and an Index.
In the “libro primero” we can find multiple Discussions about different topics, listed one after another. They have basically the function of chapters. The Topics of these discussions vary from general Information (for example the reason for its Construction) to the description of specific details (for example the fresco-paintings). Nevertheless, each discussion of the “libro primero” makes a straight reference on a concrete aspect of the monastery. In the first discussion, the author writes about the Kings reason of its construction. He then slowly goes into it deeper. After he discussed the reason for its location, he talks about the outer appearance of the whole complex as well as its main parts.
There are a few segments of the Royal Monestery which are being analyzed in more detail. If we take a closer look at the fifth, sixth and seventh discussion, we realize that they are all about different aspects of the “templo de San Lorenço”. The same pattern we can see about the “claustro principal del convento”, the main cloister of the monastery (discussion twelve to fourteen).
When we begin to analyze the “libro Segundo” we realize the same structure in term of these discussions. But this time, the whole content is only about the pantheon, a place where the Kings of Spain are being buried. This realization allows us to conclude, that the pantheon must be of further importance. Also, for the first time there are specific details that are being shown for explanation.
The arrangement of the monastery can somehow be found again in the book itself and vice versa. Through a further understanding of only the structure of the book, we can make some important conclusions. We know now that the location must have been chosen specifically. We also can conclude, that the “templo de san Lorenzo” as well as the “claustro principal del convento” must be dominating structures in the whole complex. And last but not least, we know now that the patheon of the monastery must be of higher importance.