Segovia Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Segovia

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    The Royal Palace (La Granja)

    by SirRichard Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This is obviously one of the main attractions in La Granja. The spanish ruler Felipe V retired here in 1724. He wanted to create here a residence like the one in Versailles. So he planned and extended the gardens and the palace to their nowadays appearance. The Palace was used as a summer residence by many spanish kings until Alfonso XIII.

    The palace
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    The Gardens (La Granja)

    by SirRichard Written Sep 20, 2004

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    The gardens occupy more than 80% of the Royal Palace area. The entrance is free normally (10-18h in winter, 10-21h in summer), except when the fountains are ON. This happens on the afternoons of wednesday, saturdays and sundays from 15 to 18h.

    There are mainly 2 parts, a little one at the right with more flowers (my favourite) and a big one in the back with more trees, avenues and fountains.

    A view of the gardens
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    The fountains (La Granja)

    by SirRichard Written Sep 20, 2004

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    There are many fountains around in the gardens, big and with many sculptures. Most of the time they are dry, but on some days (wednesday, saturday and sunday from 15 to 18h) they open the water and you can see the whole thing working. Nevertheless during this periods, the entrance is not free!

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    The town (La Granja)

    by SirRichard Written Sep 20, 2004

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    If you have time after visiting the Palace and the Gardens you can have a walk around the town of La Granja. Is not an extremely beautiful place, but is nice, with old castilian style houses and some quiet streets with pleasant terraces. There are a few interesting churches too.

    A church
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    Museum of Glass (La Granja)

    by SirRichard Updated Sep 20, 2004

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    There is an interesting museum on how they make the glass pieces in La Granja (kind of those U might have seen in Venice and so). La Granja has an old tradition in glass-making and there are many beautiful pieces shown at the museum.
    Entrance 3,50 euros.

    The leaflet
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    Roman Aqueduct.

    by breughel Written Feb 3, 2013

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    You can not miss the aqueduct of Segovia, a masterpiece of Roman engineering from the second half of the 1st Century AD; it is the final stretch, bridging a deep depression at the Plaza del Azoguejo just below the old part of town, of an aqueduct system 15 Km long with a slope of 1°.

    Indeed you can not miss the 118 pillars supporting a two-story arcade at about 30 m height and extending over 728 m. This at the entry of Segovia where many of the main roads meet (and where, if you came by car, you better enter the underground parking to get rid of your car).
    You will be even more admiring seeing that the aqueduct is built of unmortared, brick-like granite blocks.

    The aqueduct provided potable water originating from the Rio Frio and traversed the landscape through a series of ducts and underground channels well into the twentieth century.

    Aqueduct. Aqueduct at entrance of Segovia.
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    REAL SITIO DE LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO

    by breughel Updated Feb 7, 2013

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    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"

    La Granja Palace La Granja Fountain
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    Cloister - Claustro de Juan Guas.

    by breughel Updated Feb 13, 2013

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    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.

    Cloister of the cathedral. Cloister views on the cathedral. Cloister view on the cathedral. Cloister - Chapel.
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    Sala Capitular and Museum.

    by breughel Updated Feb 17, 2013

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    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).

    Chapter house. Oudenaarde tapestry.
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    Plaza Mayor.

    by breughel Written Feb 3, 2013

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    This is a nice Plaza Mayor to sit down at one of the terraces and to admire the apse and towers of the cathedral. You can have tapas, raciones and wine at one of the restaurants-bars around the plaza and look at the Segovian families walking under the trees. Now that was ten years ago before the great tourist invasion!
    On our recent visit we had chosen the wrong day, I mean Thursday because this is market day and the terraces of the bars and restaurants are closed to leave space for the market stalls.
    Eating or drinking inside had not the charm of sitting on the Plaza at the tables under the parasols.

    Plaza on market day.
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    Wolf feeding the Roman Twins

    by easyoar Written Apr 3, 2005

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    There is a famous statue in Rome of a mother wolf suckling the two Roman Twins of Romulus and Remus (they were apparently brought up by the wolf).

    Due to Segovia's famous Roman link (the Aquaduct was built by the Romans 2000 years ago), there is a special bond between the two cities. This statue marks that bond.

    You can find it in front of the Aquaduct (the bus stop side). The sign underneath (not shown here) says that the statue marks the bi-millennium of the Aquaduct, and that the statue was put there in 1974 (the date is in Roman numerals of course!)

    Wolf feeding the Roman Twins in Segovia
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    The Mirador near the Parador

    by easyoar Written Apr 3, 2005

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    If you drive out of Segovia towards Valladolid and look for signs to the parador, you will get to a Mirador (a spot where you can stop and admire the view) which offers great views of the city (both of the Cathedral and the Alcazar, the Aquaduct is harder to see from this angle).

    This picture was taken in late March when the Almond Blossom was in full bloom. The Alcazar can be seen in the background.

    I would recommend the views from here even when there is no blossom, but when there is, it is a real must see site.

    Alcazar from the Mirador with Almond Blossom
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    La Vera Cruz Church.

    by breughel Written Feb 10, 2013

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    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 €

    La Vera Cruz Church La Vera Cruz Church La Vera Cruz Church - inside plan.
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    Church of San Martin

    by easyoar Written Apr 3, 2005

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    The church of San Martin is in a reasonably large square (Plaza de Juan Bravo) as you walk up from the Aquaduct towards the Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral. As such it is 'unmissable' as you pretty much have to walk past it.

    It makes a good break point on the walk (even though the walk itself is not that big) and it is worth taking a few minutes to explore the square and go inside the church.

    The church itself dates from the 12th Century and has a Mudejar Tower, that would not look out of place on a mosque!

    Church of San Martin
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    The Roman Aquaduct

    by easyoar Updated Apr 3, 2005

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    The Roman Aquaduct in Segovia is almost 2000 years old, and comprises around 20,000 granite blocks. These blocks are not held together with any mortar or other type of 'glue', they just stay together due to the craftsmanship of the builders. Several years ago, buses and cars were allowed to drive through the aquaducts arches (what a travesty that was). All of a sudden the town realised the damage that was being done to the aquaduct, and now that Segovia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this lunacy should hopefully never start again.

    The Aquaduct was built in the 1st Century AD by the Romans, and was in active use until as late as the 19th Century AD.

    The Aquaduct at Segovia
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