Philip II wished to assemble the knowledge of his age in his monastery palace. With a collection of about 14,000 books and manuscripts, he created the presumably largest library of the 16th century after the Bibliotheca Apostolica. The ceiling frescoes were created by the Italians Pellegrino Tibaldi (1527–1596) and Bartolomeo Carduccio (1560–1608).
Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, library, colour photograph, 2003, photographer: Håkan Svensson; source: Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EscorialBiblioteca.jpg.
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