UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. I was surprised and a bit perplexed when I began to research Segovia because several of the travel videos said there were only three or four things to see there. One young woman also erroneously remarked that the world famous Roman aqueduct, constructed sometime in the first century, was a “wall”.
The aqueduct consists of 25,000 blocks and 221 pillars all built without mortar or concrete. It stretches 15 kilometers from the river to the town.
Can you imagine anything being constructed today without concrete that would survive 2000 years? I think not!
The aqueduct is the first amazing structure you see when entering the city of Segovia. Find a seat, order a coffee and try to imagine men hauling enormous stones up, up, up, one upon another all 221 pillars without the use of our modern machinery. It stretches the imagination. There’s a myth, though, that the city of Segovia was founded by Hercules. Ok, he could have done it.
Done with the coffee? Great, now stop in at the tourist office on the right hand side of the square and get a map, you will need it if you are going to visit all of the sites (not just 3 or 4).
Head up the street and on your right you will see Casa De Los Picos, a house with a façade of pyramid shaped granite blocks. The entrance and courtyard are decorated in Talavera tiles. Built in the 15th century, now houses the Segovia Art School.
Continuing you will come to Plaza San Martin where you might encounter a marionette playing music across from St. Martin’s church, one of the prettiest Romanesque churches in Segovia.
The cobbled street brings you into the main square where a massive and grandiose Cathedral de Santa Maria del Segovia takes the spotlight. Well worth the small entrance fee. Be prepared to have neck strain. This ediface is like an enormous buffet where you want to taste everything, but your stomach says “please, no more”. It is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain and it is the place where Isabella was crowned queen of Castile.
My photos don’t do it justice. Check it out on line.
Walk around the plaza, poke around the shops, enjoy a coffee or chocolate and churros!
The street forks here. Take the left fork through the arch.
Then continue along the narrow, winding streets of the Jewish Quarter where in early 1492 monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella produced an edict that said in effect that all Jews in Spain had 3 months to either convert to Christianity or leave Spain, which ended 300 years of peaceful co-existance.
There are many small signs telling about the Jewish Quarter as well as shops, museums and churches here.
This street intersects with Plaza Reina Victoria Eugenia and the beautiful Segovia Castle which you might recognise as Walt Disney’s version of Snow White’s home.
Officially Alcazar de Segovia (Segovia fortress), construction began in about 1155 by King Alfonso the 8th. Many kings of Castile have chosen this fortress as their home.
Many of the interior rooms are decorated in the Moorish style like the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar de Seville. You can visit the interior of the castle, and I would recommend purchasing a ticket on line, because the line was VERY LONG on the day of my visit.
Across the park is a restaurant with a lovely view of the old city behind the fortress wall. Service was slow and the line for the ladies room moving at a snails pace, but if you are thirsty it’s the only game in town.
Immerse yourself in history, shop til you drop and have fun in Segovia!