Going up the Tower
Going up the Tower!! Be prepared to walk up 152 degrees through narrow winding stairs, ... I could hardly breath when I got up there as I had a huge cold that day and the weather up there was freezing cold. But after regaining my breath, I was pleased I went up there - the view is amazing!! The view over the city is fabulous with the Cathedral rising above other buildings. To the other side, you will also enjoy a magnificent view over the plains and the snowy mountains on the background. Too bad the day was greyish; I can imagine how breathtaking this view must be on a sunny cloudless day - a good excuse to return to beautiful Segovia!!
Visiting the Castle
To visit the Castle you must pay an entrance fee. Going up the Tower must also be paid - a ticket for both costs €4.5 (March 2004). While walking through the Castle, you will visit some rooms that house armours and fighting materials such as cannons and spades; some other rooms seem to be meeting rooms - the knights' meeting rooms, with big strong tables and imposing chairs. There is also a bedroom - I assume it was meant for the King to rest - and a chapel. All rooms, no matter its purpose, have beautifully carved and painted ceilings - all different from each other. Some of them have also beautiful stained glass. From the windows you will enjoy magnificent views over the surrounding plains and mountains. There is also a Military Museum on the castle, where you will be able to observe some documents and uniforms from the Military Academy.
The castle is located on one side of the city and it was built (and refurbished by many Kings to add a "personal" touch) with a military purpose - to defend Segovia from invaders and conquerors, something quite common in the Middle Age (Dark Ages?). The oldest documents that refer to this castle date from the 12th century. Apparently, this castle was a favourite of Kings and Queens since it was a major piece in defending Castilla. It was also the scene of a crowning: Isabel, the Catholic, walked from this Castle to Plaza Mayor to be crowned Queen of Castilla in 1474. When the Court moved to Madrid, this Castle lost some of its former importance and became a prison. Actually, when you visit one of the rooms that looks like a prison cell - small, with a strong door and high window - you will see a guillotine, ...
My favourite place in Segovia was undoubtedly the Alcazar. Seen from the outside, it is often compared to a fairy tales' castle - my photos don't do it justice since it was a cloudy, greyish day and photos didn't come out very "luminous". The castle stands on top a hill, where 2 rivers meet. It is said that underneath the castle are some secret passages and tunnels that lead to the rivers. Seems that some of them are still undiscovered - or is this just a tale? Who knows!
Segovia aqueduct - more arches than McDonald's
As stated before, the top attraction in Segovia is the 2,000 year old Roman aqueduct. It was not the primary source of water for the city but a backup system in case the primary source was tampered with.
- Historical Travel
Cool facade skills
Can you see the way the facades are carved? The technique is called "esgrafiado" and consists on applying a fixed pattern to the fresh plaster and emptying out the void zones. When the material dries up, it takes those textures.
Most of the buildings in the oldest part of Segovia show different neat patterns. In occasions several layers are applied and the results are equally cool.
the texture + the color...
...of these walls inside the Alcazar make you go back to your own apt or house and look at those white walls and think "How can I make it seem like a palace here???" Velvet and tile and fringed-trim would help. Plus, a king's ransom for the renovation supplies wouldn't hurt either...;-))) Seeeee? Tha's why I want the Queer Eye guys to come on over to my place and work their magic...hehehe!
Even on a cloudy day...
...the colors of these jewel-toned stained glass windows of the Alcazar would *POP* out at you like the rubies and amethysts and jade they so resemble. Thank goodness it was a shiny, sunny afternoon in Oct when I was fortunate enough to ramble through here. Such a treat.
not an isolated detail...
see, I told you, they're all over town, these raisins-in-the-mortar. If you tour the fabulous Alcazar, you'll see more of the dried grape decorations, studding the outside walls. Hmmmm, has someone told the Queer Eye guys about this trend?!?
They just don't build walls like this anymore...
...the fortification which surrounds medieval Segovia. Thank goodness these did the trick though, since the city is still here and you don't see many invaders attempting to pillage and/or burn it in this 21st century.
France doesn't have the monopoly on GARGOYLES!
The main cathedral in Segovia was closed to the general public, they were preparing some huge exhibition inside...but that didn't stop me from wandering around the outer perimeter of the bldg, and happily discovering these fellows, perched and ready to descend on any unwary passerby. They're menacing only until you get to know them...not unlike some people, you know! ;-)))
A piece of Rome at Segovia
Segovia is one of the most beautiful cities of Castilla-León; Roman settled a military base there, and called it "Segobriga". The magnificent Aqueduct was built at 1st century BC,and it worked till 19th century!!!
More pictures in the Travelogue.
Segovia es una de las ciudades más bellas de Castilla-León; los romanos instalaron una base militar allí, llamada "Segobriga". El magnífico Acueducto fue construido en el siglo I AC, y funcionó hasta el siglo XIX.
Más fotos en el Travelogue.
Casa de los Picos
Casa de los Picos (House of Peaks, or Points) it is a house built at 15th century and decorated with granite points. Nowadays it houses the School of Arts of Segovia.
Casa de los Picos es una casa construida en el siglo XV y decorada con puntas de granito. Hoy en día allí se encuentra la Escuela de Artes de Segovia.
A fairy tale castle
At Segovia you can visit a building that seems a fairy tale castle: the Alcázar. It was a mediaeval fortress, but it burned down at 1862, and after that it was rebuilt. Inside the Alcázar there is a weapons museum. And if you climb an endless stairway (and survive!!!) you will see the most wonderful sight of Segovia.
More pictures in the Travelogue.
En Segovia se puede visitar un edificio que se asemeja a un castillo de cuento de hadas: el Alcázar. fue una fortaleza medieval, pero se incendió por completo en 1862, y luego fue reconstruido. Dentro del Alcázar hay un museo de armas. Y si subes una interminable escalera (¡y sobrevives!!!) verás la más maravillosa de las vistas de Segovia.
Más fotos en el Travelogue.
Another magnificent Cathedral
The Cathedral is the last Spaniard Gothic building; its construction began in 1525 (by Emperor Charles the 5th) and it is a beautiful construction.
If you can see more pictures, you can check the Travelogue.
La Catedral de Segovia es el último edificio gótico de España; su construcción comenzó en 1525 (por mandato del Emperador Carlos V) y es un hermoso edificio.
Si desean más fotos, pueden mirar el Travelogue.