June 7, 2016
After visiting Madrid, we started off a sunny Monday at the Real Fábrica de Cristales, a glass factory in a small city called La Granja de San Ildefonso, located right by Segovia. The factory has a museum that displays many of their products over time. This includes vases, mirrors, tableware, art work, chandeliers and more. The raw materials and tools used to create them were also displayed, such as sand, ovens, and molds. At the end, we saw the workers actually blowing glass!
Next, we visited the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, right across the street. The palace was built in 1724 for King Philip V and his wife. In the summers, the family would come to hunt, and explore the gardens and fountains on the property. We noticed many different design styles in the palace. Our tour guide explained that multiple architects from France, Italy and around Spain helped build the palace, all bringing their own touch.
The palace is also a tapestry museum which is the home of tapestries from as early as the 15th century that were woven with gold and silver thread. The tapestries are invaluable. The coolest fact of the day was that all of the chandeliers in the palace were made at the Real Fábrica de Cristales that we had just visited!