What to see in Segovia: the city of the Roman aqueduct and the Alcazar
For gourmets of Madrid is the goal for greedy trips outside the city looking for grilled meats. For all Spaniards it is the city of Isabella of Castilethe very Catholic queen but also of Torquemada, the Dominican friar who invented the Inquisition. For everyone, Iberians or not, it is a UNESCO heritage and the magical scenery where it stands out the Roman aqueduct. It was built in the first century but looks brand new. The list could go on because the guide of things to see in Segovia is still long: not surprisingly, for some, it is one of the most beautiful cities from Spain.
Right a half an hour by train from the capital in the heart of Castile and Leonnot far from Salamanca And Avilais also famous for its many churches, monuments and for having hosted Antonio Machado, one of the symbolic poets of the twentieth century in Spain. If you want to take a dip in melancholy, read his verses.
The city stands on a hill surrounded by two rivers, the Heresy and the Clamores, and in its oldest part it is almost completely surrounded by the 11th century walls marked by battlements, blind arches, towers and entrance doors with horseshoe arches. Three of the ancient gates remain the access routes: the San Andrés gate, San Cebrián gate and Santiago gate.
What to see in Segovia
In short, the past here can be seen and felt as it is right that it is in a place that has been both capital of the Moorish kingdom both of the Catholic Castile. Before battles and politics shifted the command elsewhere, towards Madrid. But if the choices of the kings have made the places of power migrate, they have nevertheless left here a great legacy of beauty. And just take a walk to see the sign of that legacy everywhere in Segovia.
Born as a Celtic settlement, it became part of theRoman Empire around the first century BC and immediately conquered a role such as hub on the main commercial routes of the Spain. First, most of the wools and fabrics passed through here, but soon from a crossing point it became a production center.
The consequences are obvious: trade and crafts mean money. And the traces of that wealth are preserved in the palaces still present in the heart of the city where they stand out many Gothic masterpieces. Just name one: the church of San Miguel where in 1474 it was proclaimed Queen Isabella I of Castile. Under the guidance of him, with the taking of Granadathe Reconquest of the Spain from the Moors and helped a certain Christopher Columbus in a daring undertaking. The world would never be the same after that.
Curious fate: among the things from see in Segovia there is this and much more. Yet most tourists are attracted to the menus of many more than by the legacy of the sovereigns local specialized in cochinillo, or the suckling pig in the oven. The inhabitants of Madrid they are crazy about it.
What to see in Segovia
But before dedicating yourself to the gorge, the visit necessarily leads to the cobbled streets full of charm on which the star of the place stands out: the Roman Aqueduct. This monumental structure has stood the test of time, surviving two millennia of history. And without apparent effort. It is one of the two largest Roman structures existing in Spain and was built around 50 AD
The aqueduct channeled the water 17 kilometers from the Acebeda River in the mountains of Sierra of Fuenfría through a deep valley to the ancient city. It seems a small thing: but it was a real engineering magic since the structure is made up of 20,400 granite blocks, joined without cement or mortar. And the rows of 167 arches they are still perfectly aligned. The best place to admire its grandeur is the Plaza del Azoguejothe fulcrum of the historic center, where the aqueduct reaches its maximum height of 28 meters before ending inAlcázar in a culvert.
Strolling in the Jewish quarter
We talked about the Alcazar: we will visit it but first let’s get lost wandering in the old part of the city. In particular by discovering the old Jewish quarter which is located in the area of Plaza de la Merced and extends to the Plaza del Socorro. Here the past is told by the stones of the houses that recall the Sephardic past. When the Jewish community in Spain it was very numerous.
Street names also remember him, like Judería Vieja And Judería Nuevaand wanting to deepen this aspect among the things to see in Segovia there is necessarily the Convent of Corpus Domini, built on a previous synagogue as revealed by the original decorations left of what was one of the five synagogues of the city. The neighborhood was once gated and had seven doorsincluding the Puerta de San Andrés (in Plaza del Socorro), which now hosts exhibitions and displays. The building Antigua Carnicería Judía (the ancient slaughterhouse) now houses the Segovia Museum while at number 12 of Judería Vieja you will find the Judería Educational Centerwhere videos describing the history of the Jews in Segovia and in general are shown Spain.
What to see in Segovia
Continuing the journey through the things to see in Segovia, let’s head towards the cathedral. But first a small detour takes us towards Plaza de San Esteban where the homonymous Romanesque church is located, recognizable by the high tower and the loggia, where once the guilds met. But it is at the highest point of the old city that we find the other star: the cathedral built between 1525 and 1593. It was thelast great gothic church built in Spain.
And it’s really great: it is 105 meters long and has a very high tower from which you can enjoy a spectacular view. The interior is also majestic with large windows And eighteen chapels, statues and altars. The altarpiece is a masterpiece of marble and bronze and shows a 14th century ivory figure of the Virgen de la Paz. But the treasures are not finished: the library holds other unique objects such as a collection of ancient manuscripts and books including the Sinodal de Aguilafuentethe first book printed in Spain. After the visit stop in the Plaza Mayor and look for a coffee: looking around is already a pleasure not to be missed.
Things to see in Segovia: the Alcazar
Pointed towers can make it look a bit Disney. But the Alcazar of Segovia it was a fortress. And it shows. The palace rises majestically above the city overlooking a steep wall rocky. Needless to say: from this point of view, the views of the surroundings are incredible. The impenetrable position is testimony to the original military purpose of the fortress. Built in the 12th century, the Alcazar was the residence of the king Alfonso VIII, and in the 13th century, the building was enriched in the Gothic style for John II and Henry IV. The last architectural restoration was completed in the 16th century by the architect Francisco de Mora.
The entrance to the castle is located in the Tower of Juan II, a 14th century tower surrounded by ten semicircular turrets. Visitors can visit all the rooms of the Alcázar, still furnished with tapestries, weapons and armor. There Throne room it stands out for its gilded ceiling and that of the Galera has arched windows that offer exceptional views over the river valley. Take your time for the visit. Then there will be the opportunity to go down and look for a place in the narrow streets where you can test the reputation of Segovia as city for gourmets. Experts say Granja, la Castilian soup with garlic and bread, and roasts. With a glass of red from the Ribera del Duero even the Alcazar seems to change shape. And become less grim.