Behind the altar is a three-tiered reredos, made of red granite and jasper, nearly twenty-eight metres tall, adorned with gilded bronze statuary by Leone Leoni, and three sets of religious paintings commissioned by Philip II. To either side are gilded life-size bronzes of the kneeling family groups of Charles and Philip, also by Leoni with help from his son Pompeo. In a shallow niche at the center of the lowest level is a tabernacle designed by Juan de Herrera in jasper and bronze.
A complex which contains a monastery, palace, school, mausoleum and museum; Philip II built the monastery 1563-1584 as a memorial to victory over French in 1557. It became his main residence and was later was the dynastic center of the Spanish Hapsburgs. The monastery was originally a property of the Hieronymite monks, it is now a monastery of the Order of Saint Augustine. The church of the monastery is the Basilica of San Lorenzo el Real.