La Granja de San Ildefonso

Castilla y León

This palace was originally built for the Bourbon King Felipe V, who chose this site in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama to recreate his own miniature Versailles, the palace of his French grandfather, Louis XIV. The 300-room Palacio Real, once a favoured summer residence for Spanish royalty, is impressive and includes the colourful Museo de Tapices (Tapestry Museum). The magnificent, elaborate baroque gardens – famous for their 28 extravagant fountains depicting ancient myths – date from 1720.

If you time your visit for Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday at 5.30pm you can see the fountains in action. There's also a maze.

Up to a dozen daily buses to La Granja depart regularly from Segovia's bus station (€2.40, 20 minutes).

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