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The last of the Gothic cathedrals of Spain is beautiful not only from outside but also inside. The size and height (33 m) of the nave and the decor of the ribs of the vaults are spectacular.
There are ten side chapels and seven chapels of the ambulatory, all showing works of religious art of great value.
I halted at the chapel of St James (Santiago) with a Baroque altarpiece telling the legend of the Apostle James. Firstly he is dressed as a pilgrim with stick and gourd, then an equestrian and military figuration of the Apostle in the battle of Clavijo in 844 against the Moors which earned him the nickname Santiago Matamoros (St James killer of Moors) and the origin of the pilgrimage to Santiago da Compostella.
It should be reminded that the military figure of St James results from the seven centuries long fight for the liberation of the Iberian Peninsula invaded in 711 by the Muslims and ending with the fall of Grenade in 1492. Segovia lost its importance and many of its inhabitants under the Muslim occupation. The city recuperated its splendor after the Reconquista by Alfonso VI of Castile in 1079.
The founder of the chapel (1595) was a Knight of the Order of St. Jacques.
In another chapel I found a painting of a Caravel symbol of the Discovery of the Americas.
Nevertheless for me the best part is the Cloister .
Written Feb 18, 2013
I felt already happy visiting that splendid cloister of the cathedral and I became enthusiast when I entered the Chapter House - Sala Capitular.
It is a very sumptuous room, the most elegant of Spain it is said, with a gilded coffered ceiling made with the first gold brought from America. Above the seat of the bishop from the 16 th c. stand a large Christ. The floor is in marble. All that is fine but it is on the walls that are on display ten tapestries from Brussels drawing the history of Queen Zenobia of Palmyra and making of this Chapter House a "must see" for all amateurs of decorative arts.
The ten tapestries are signed and were woven in Brussels by Geeraert-Peemans who lived in the 17th century. It is easy to find at the bottom of the tapestries the famous B in B (Brussel in Brabant).
The cartoons of the tapestries are attributed to the workshop of Rubens.
Let me just remember here that it has been calculated that a weaver would need a full year to weave 8 to 10 m2 of a tapestry. As there are ten tapestries it is a complete workshop that weaved these marvels.
Next is the Capitular Museum showing various paintings, sculptures and jewelry. Here also are on display Flemish Tapestries but from Oudenaarde showing more "verdure" and from a later century (18 th).
Updated Feb 17, 2013
This is for me the nicest part of the Cathedral and one of the best examples of Flamboyant Gothic.
Actually this cloister by Juan Guas is older (1470) than the present Cathedral and belonged to the old cathedral located next to the Alcazar. The cloister was dismantled stone by stone in 1524 and moved to the new cathedral built between 1525 and the next century.
Impressive are the dimensions of the cloister (36 x 36 m), the 5,25 m wide galleries with high vaults but even more the sublime elegance of the pillars, columns and arches.
I hope that my photos will express my admiration better than my words.
There are several chapels as well as the tomb the architect Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón builder of the cathedral. On the cloister opens the Chapter House, a very sumptuous room and the Capitular Museum. I will come back on them because they shown some famous tapestries of the Royal Collection ( Chapter house).
Entry on the south side of the church by the chapel of Cristo del Consuelo. Same ticket as the cathedral.
Updated Feb 13, 2013
The low building in picture is the tourist office, they had sent me loads of pamplets on Segovia, in the office they were very helpful. The Aqueduct has 167 arches in the bridge, is 220m long from river intake to the Alcazar,height of bridge is 28.10 m, and is built of granite from Guadarraama. Built in the first century AD. Is a World Heritage Site.
Updated Feb 12, 2013
The Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral is a convent of the Order of Saint Jerome just outside the walls of Segovia near the Alcazar and the church of La Vera Cruz. It was founded by King Henry IV of Castile in 1454. The main Gothic chapel houses a beautifully worked, polychrome altarpiece by Juan Rodriguez.
It is possible to visit the church:
From Wednesday to Saturday, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM and from 4:15 PM to 6:30 PM.
Tuesday from 4:15 PM to 6:30 PM
Closing days: Monday free
Entry is free.
Written Feb 10, 2013
At the foot of the hill of the Alcazar stand this unique Romanesque church from the 13th c. built on a dodecagonal plan. Its construction has traditionally been attributed to the Templars, but is now believed to be constructed by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Crusade Orders used this model of church as well as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, inspired by the early Christian Roman baptisteries, to build their churches in Spain or France.
The exterior is in simple masonry with small windows. Inside, the round nave centers on an unusual two-story gallery. The apse and the tower were added later.
The church now belongs to the order of Malta.
It is a church that raises curiosity because of the Templars and the peculiar inside.
Its position in the landscape is also surprising because the church is surrounded by dry, even deserted land while the close Alcazar stands on a green hill.
From the La Vera Cruz church the views and photos of the Alcazar are the best.
Visits: Tue-Sun 10.30-13.30 h & 15.30-19 h.; closed on Mondays and in November.
Price: 1,50 €
Written Feb 10, 2013
When walking from the Cathedral towards the Alcazar you can not miss the gardens of the Plaza de la Merced and another typical Romanesque church San Andrés from the 12th c.
Special of this church are the two apses. Above the three naves rises a slender brick Mudejar tower with three stores.
Segovia has several of these so nice Romanesque churches. San Andrés is not even one of the nicest. If l come back to Segovia I'll take enough time to visit the best known ones: San Esteban, San Juan de los Caballeros, San Sebastian, La Trinidad and San Millan.
Written Feb 8, 2013
At 12 Km east of Segovia the Palace and the Gardens of LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO are a Spanish Versailles built in the 18th c. by King Felipe V, a Bourbon Duke of Anjou, grandson of the French King Louis XIV, who married an Italian princess Isabella Farnese.
In this Palace and the gardens with fountains on the slopes of the Guadarama mountains one find a combination of the French and Italian art and a marvelous collection of Brussels tapestries heritage from Queen Isabelle the Catholic, our Emperor Charles Quint (V) (born in Gent, Belgium) who became the King Carlos I of Spain and his son Philippe II.
The guidebook of the Palace says: The Tapestry Collection of the Spanish Crown, the richest in the world … owes its exceptional quality and quantity to the dominium of the Spanish Sovereigns of the House of Austria (Hapsburg) over the Low Countries *(presently Belgium).
I must admit that I discovered the richness of the Tapestries made in Brussels and Flanders mainly by my travels in Spain. A guide in Segovia told us that if put in line these tapestries would cover about 15 Km!
See my 22 tips under destination La Granja "Real Sitio de La Granja de San Ildefonso"
Updated Feb 7, 2013
This is a mansion from the 15th c. build by Alfonso Cascales a Segovian powerful nobleman. It is now called Palacio del Conde Alpuente or Casa de Aspiroz. The flamboyant Gothic windows are very nice and the brick decor of the façade is worthwhile a short stop when walking on the Calle de Juan Bravo
Written Feb 6, 2013
Ten years ago we were awed by this Romanesque church located halfway between the Aqueduct and the Cathedral. Originally it is a Mozarabic church of the twelfth century surrounded on three sides by one of the finest Romanesque portico-atriums I have seen in Spain.
The bell tower in the center of the nave has three stores and is also remarkable although somewhat hidden from the street by the beautifully decorated columns of the portico that surrounds the church.
The only deception we felt on this new visit was that we could not visit the inside of the church because an office was going on.
Written Feb 5, 2013
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