My Spanish teacher in Madrid actually came from Segovia and she's the one who made me aware that people in Segovia have traditionally built their tiled roofs upside down - or maybe I should say downside up! If you look at most roofs, you'll notice that the tiles are laid down facing upwards instead of downwards. The important thing is that it keeps the rain out all the same, but it does look kind of different!
This is what cought my eye almost immediately after I finished "WOWing" at the Aqueduct. Once I passed the most important landmark and went towards the city center I noticed that many buildings in the city have some interesting ornaments that decorate the exterior. Mostly geometrical shape and some that remind flowers covering almost every second building in the Old Town. I had to do some homework before I found out what it all represented.
Well, let me bore you with some history:
"Mudéjar" were Moors that remained in Spain after it regained its Christianity. They did not convert into a new, to them, religion but still were allowed to stay in the country. Their building style was conbined of many others like Gothic and Romanesque together, but what made their style different is the use of cheap and big bricks and the ornaments i.e carvings.
This is how Segovia got her Moorish look with augmented facades. Later I learned from the VT member Maurizioago that the ornaments are called "Esgrafiado".
If you want to know more about Mudéjar style you'll have to go to Toledo, where a big museum is located inside the Museo de Santa Cruz, formerly a church.
If you visited Segovia and didn't try the traditional dish you didn't explore the city! “Cochinillo de Segovia” is served in almost all Segovian restaurants and it is delicious!
“Cochinillo de Segovia” or simply suckling pig is a slowly roasted baby-pig that is being prepared for several hours before it ends up on your plate. And, by the way, they say the way to check if it's properly cooked is to cut it with the plate! Mine, however, arrived to the table on a whole plate.
I know, I know many people would feel sorry for the tiny baby piglet that was "murdered" just to please meat eaters, but I can assure you that once you'll try it you'll become a devoted Cochinillo sinner forever.
Yemas de Segovia are a speciality sweetmeat from Segovia. They are a kind of sweet sticky pastry and very hard to describe other than that.
To give you an idea of the sort of damage this will do to your arteries check out s typical recipe:
125 grams of sugar
Rind of lemon
Still it's worth trying at least one!
Most non-Spanish people will think of Segovia as being a City, and indeed it is. However it is also a province. Typically in Spain a Province is named after the main city in it (e.g. Madrid, Barcelona, Valladolid, Almeria etc etc), although this isn't always true (as in the case of Navarra).
A province is a semi-autonomous region, which I guess you could very loosely compare to a state in the US. However this is a very loose comparison. Also the state does not tend to be named after the main city (e.g. Phoenix, Arizona), whereas Segovia, Segovia can look a little silly if you don't know what it is referring to.
Segovia’s famous food is roasted baby pig. Small baby pigs roasted in the oven – loads of restaurants selling this typical food can be found on the streets around Plaza Mayor. I’ve heard some people say it is a strange thing to eat – as it is also very common in Portugal I must confess I am not shocked and I find it tasty.
Like so many other towns and villages across Castilla y Léon, Segovia houses quite a few storks and stork’s nests. If you look up at towers and belfries you will notice the brownish nests of storks. And storks can also be seen flying over the rooftops. I kept looking at them, always trying to do a better photo. Unfortunately, seems that I didn’t succeed in doing so in Segovia – weather didn’t help either.
you would do well to hang out at the Spanish Steps for a while, but here in Segovia, the center of activity seems to be its Plaza Mayor. Happens this way in many Spanish cities. Sit on a bench, have your lunch, and just people-watch. On a sunny day, you can't beat it for soaking up local flavor, the sights, sounds, the fresh, breathable air.
the habit of using raisins in the concrete mix used to keep the stone walls together. A tradition unique to medieval southwestern Europe, I think, but it looks good. That's what counts. And the fact that the raisins have lasted for so many years now, right? ;-D
kids in Segovia love to stop at the neighborhood candystand after school. I hope they have Reese's peanut butter cups here, or Sweettarts. As long as they leave the kiosk with something chocolate though, they're doing okay! ;-P
Buy a beer and get free Tapas. This one 1-50 Euro. The wide main street of Sagovia has loads of Bars and Cafes.