5 Must See Attractions in Segovia, Spain
Segovia in Spain is almost centrally located. It is northwest of Madrid and is considered as a good day trip from there. Segovia is also approachable from Salamanca via Avila both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Those of you who are die hard fans of Unesco World Heritage sites can consider including this in the itinerary.
From Avila we arrived at Segovia past noon. I was quite excited about Segovia especially after seeing the gigantic aqueduct. A whole new town to be explored! It was almost like opening a new book and go through its pages. Like in a page of a book one would underline new words I have underlined 5 must see attractions in Segovia in this post. Most sightseeing monuments would close only at 7 so we had ample time to do walking tour of Segovia’s old town.
I prefer selfguided tours of a place, not because I have something against the guided tours. A well planned selfguided tour allows me to arrive and depart from a place at my will. In Segovia too we did the hassle free self guided tour of Segovia. All it needed was reading up about the places a bit, noting down the open and close timings and have a rough map of the place. Segovia is very ‘tourist friendly destination’ with almost 5 tourist information centers. Grab a map, get set and go!
5 Must See Attractions in Segovia
Alcazar of Segovia
A series of fort existed here before this present Alcazar of Segovia. A Roman fort that existed here was built on the remains of another ancient fort. On the foundations of Roman fort the Arabs built the Moorish Fortress. After Portugal was recaptured from the Arabs this Alcazar (castle) was built. In 1154 – 1214 King Alfonso VIII was the first to build this castle. Alfonso X of Castile rebuilt this castle in 1258. In the first half of XV century after the reconstruction by Juan II the King of Castile and Leon it got this present look. The Castle became the stronghold of Queen Isabel in 1474 when she was proclaimed Queen. Royal family never used this castle as home after the death of Felipe II. After that castle became the Artillery Academy, Military School, and State Prison and at last the museum. The Royal School of Artillery that was billeted in Alcazar de Segovia lasted here until fire destroyed it in 1862. Building was restored in 1882. It gives goose bumps to read and think about the numerous inhabitants this castle would have had! Imagine the scenes the walls here would have witnessed over the centuries! Photography is permitted. (No flash.)
#TravelTip: Arrive in the afternoon to take well lit pics of keep and façade of the fort.
#Trivia: The castle is believed to be the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
Open: April – September from 10:00 to 19:00 hrs. October – March from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. In October castle is open as during the summer on Fridays and Saturdays, rest days of the week according to winter schedule.
General admission is 7 Euros.
Iglesia de San Andres, Segovia
As you walk down from Alcazar along the street Calle Daoiz, the first historic monument you will come across is Iglesia de San Andres. It is a pretty little church in Romanesque style. It has an impressive facade made of brick. The Mudejar tower features a slate roof and two apses that are next to it. The old town is dotted with several such historic monuments, even if you take a random walk you are bound to stumble upon some monument.
Open during the hours of worship only.
Admission is free.
Cathedral of Segovia
This UNESCO world Heritage monument was built in the years between 1525 and 1593. The cathedral has a beautiful yellow color due the stone used in its construction. This is Spain’s last major Gothic structure. The interiors lit through beautiful 16th century Flemish windows. There are several chapels inside; of them the Blessed Sacrament Chapel has colorful stained glass windows, carved choir stalls and immensely beautiful paintings of those times. The place around the cathedral is dotted with several cafes and souvenir shops. The place is worth a pause.
Open: April – October from 9.30 to 18.30hrs. November – March from 9.30 to 17:00 hrs.
General admission is 3 Euros.
Plaza Mayor, Segovia
Keep walking along the street Calle Daoiz toward aqueduct and you will reach Plaza Mayor on your left. It is a huge square surrounded by monuments of medieval era. To the north is the Town Hall, a granite building constructed in 1610. The eastern side is flanked by the Teatro Juan Bravo (Juan Bravo Theater). At the south end you will see the Church of San Miguel. In the center there is an open pavilion, which becomes the center of activities during the city’s festivals.
#TravelTip: There is a small market on Thursday mornings, so try and make a plan on Thursday morning to be a part of it.
Aqueduct of Segovia
This is the time defying monument that greeted us and bid us good bye during our trip to Segovia. Be sure that it will play the same role to all tourists for coming centuries too! It is one of the most magnificent monument of Roman times! The whole aqueduct consists of about 25,000 granite blocks held together without any mortar. It spans 818 meters with more than 170 arches, the highest being 28 meters high. The aqueduct once transported water from the Rio Frio River, situated in mountains, 17 km from the city in the La Acebeda region. It runs 15 km before arriving in the city. The aqueduct has its maximum height at Plaza del Azoguejo, in the heart of old town.
#PhotoTip: There are steps leading to top of aqueduct, you get amazing views of town of Segovia and wonderful perspective of the aqueduct.
Free to see all year round!
Old town of Segovia isn’t very big. 4 to 5 hours of walking time should suffice, unless you wish to enter every monument to see all details.