Guide to Segovia – Castilla y Leon, Spain
In 1985 UNESCO declared Segovia ‘a heritage of mankind‘. Visitors can splendour in the Romanesque buildings and enjoy a wealth of heritage that is still conserved today.
Segovia’s golden age occurred during the Middle Ages when it became the place of residence of the court of the Trastamaras.
The mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to Segovia’s monumental skyline.
The Hoces del Duraton Nature Park in North East of Segovia stands out due to its great archaeological and historical riches along with its outstanding natural beauty. The park, containing forests of Thuriferous junipers, willows, poplars, ashes, elms and alders, is spread out over the townships of Sepulveda, Sebulcor and Carrascal del Rio. The Natural Park consists of exceptional landscapes and an extensive green-belt that provides miles and miles of cool, shaded walks.
The Aqueduct of Segovia
The Aqueduct of Segovia (as seen in the image above), which guards the entrance gate to the historic quarter of Segovia, has been described as being one of the most beautiful in the Roman world and is an important symbol of the city. A magnificent work of engineering that is still in excellent condition, it was constructed to bring water from the river Acebeda to the city and was built with in excess of 20,000 stone blocks that are neither cemented nor stuck together by any substance. They remain just as solid today.
Segovia also has other important treasures from different ages, such as several precious Romanesque churches including a large Gothic cathedral and the splendid Alcazar.
Alcazar of Segovia
A Moorish fortress that has incorporated elements from diverse epochs but may be more recognized as a source of inspiration for Walt Disney. It was built on top of a rock that is testament to its military status. The surrounding edifice contains a number of secret passageways that lead to the river connecting several of the city’s palaces together. The Murallas or walls of Segovia come from Alcazar. They surrounded Segovia during the medieval period. The door of San Andres between the two robust towers is conserved along with the doors of San Cebrian and Santiago. Originally there were two more doors but these are no longer present.
The Cathedral of Segovia
The Cathedral, also known as the ‘Lady of cathedrals’ is one of the last gothic buildings to be constructed in Spain. It was built at the highest point in the town, after the fire in the old Romanesque cathedral. The main reredos are made of marble, jasper and bronze. The Cathedral Museum offers a large collection of religious art from various periods of history.
Visitors should also take the opportunity to see the Church of San Martin, which boasts one of the most beautiful Romanesque atriums in all of Segovia, which surrounds the church on three of its sides.
Equally impressive is the Church of La Trinidad, a Romanesque temple that contains a fortified gallery.
Other places of interest in Segovia
In Segovia, you can also visit the Stately Home of the writer Antonio Machado and the Museum of Contemporary Art named after Esteban Vicente. The Museum of Contemporary Art was once the Palace of Henry IV. It has a garden with a Renaissance chapel that displays a wonderful example of a Mudejar coffered ceiling and exhibits an impressive collection of Esteban Vicente’s oil paintings, collages, drawings, and sculptures.
Also worth a visit is the medieval village of Pedraza de la Sierra or Sebulcor – known as El Sepulcro during the Middle Ages. In Pedraza de la Sierra, you will find a 14th-century prison and a well preserved Castillo. Be aware that this place receives many weekend visitors from Madrid.
Then there is the Palace of Riofrio, which used to be a royal residence in the Italian neoclassical style. The palace also hosts the Museum of hunting and can be visited from 10.30 to 13.30h. (Monday to Friday). The phone number for the museum is 00 34 921 47 00 19