There is in Spain a majestic palace at whose entrance you will find standing guard the most amazing collection of giant trees. The palace is located in the town of San Ildefonso in the province of Segovia, which if you are not familiar with Spain, is about an hours drive north-west of Madrid.
The Royal Palace at San Ildefonso was built by king Philip V starting in 1719 and was patterned a great deal on the French palace of Versailles which was built by Philip´s grandfather Luis XIV of France.
There are a great many trees around the royal gardens but in this post I want to focus on two Giant Sequoias near the front entrance of the main palace. Giant Sequoias are not native to Spain but there were most likely brought back to Spain by Spanish explorers who started establishing missions in California in the late 18th Century. The most reliable information that I have found states that the Sequoias of San Ildefonso were planted around the year 1870 which means that they are now about 140 years old.
There are two Giant Sequoias at San Ildefonso. The one on the left in the image above has been called "el Rey" (the King) in Spanish and is 40 meters tall and has a trunk circumference of 13 meters. "the King" is more rugged looking of the two and has the look of having been broken off at the top at some point.
The other Sequoia is called "la Reina" (the Queen) and is 34 meters tall and has a trunk circumference of 9 meters. "the Queen" (image below) is definitely the better looking of the two and has a fine conical shape.
A sign near these trees identifies their species as well as those of the other great trees that stand nearby. I will mention some of these in a future post.