Alcazar of Segovia, Spain

Segovia is located north west of Madrid and is usually considered as day trip from Madrid. But we arrived here via Avila from Salamanca. The distance of 68kms from Avila to Segovia was easily covered in an hour.

I have grown up kids but they never cease to be amazed by castles and the stories revolving around them. We had been to Moorish castles and Pena Palace in Sintra during our tour of Portugal. This castle of el Alcazar de Segovia was included in the itinerary just for them. I too find a special charm around these fortified historical structures. One fact common to all castles is they are built on hill tops.

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History of Alcazar of Segovia

Alcazar de Segovia is famous to be known as an inspiration for Cinderella Castle by Walt Disney, just like how he drew the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle from the Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, Germany. The memories of fairy tale day got rekindled, my daughters tried to place imaginary figures there!

Castle of Alcazar of Segovia was not a castle always! It did serve the purpose as royal palace once, after that it became a state prison. I don’t understand that – criminals imprisoned in the huge rooms of a castle? Anyways, later it got converted to Royal Artilery College; the corridors there filled with hustle and bustle of students – that made some sense. These days it is used as military academy. So we got to see huge rooms stuffed with some military equipment. The castle of Alcazar of Segovia got burnt down in 1832, after that it was rebuilt using old sketches as reference. Now it has been converted into a museum.

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What you read in the previous para is about the list of its occupancy from 1120AD, which is the year it was made, till today. Prior to that, historical records mention that there existed an Arab Fort built by Berber dynasty, which was built on Roman ruins of a fort. Alfonso VIII and his wife, Eleanor of England, made this Alcázar their principal residence. Major work was carried out to erect the magnificent stone fortification.

Approach to Castle of Alcazar of Segovia

The route uphill can easily take 20 to 30 minutes by walk, some claim to have done it in 15 minutes. We took the easy way out and hired a taxi for 5 Euros. (We planned to come downhill walking, so why cross the path twice by walk.) The taxi transported us back to 12thcentury and we stood there mesmerized looking at the old mighty walls of the medieval castle.

Tickets purchased, we finally stepped into the castle. Inside there are 2 parts to the castle. One has the courtyard with a pit, a lifting bridge and two round turrets with spires. The second part has a chapel, Gallery room, the Pine Cone room and Queen’s chamber. The tour time of entire castle can  be anywhere more than one hour depending on your pace. There are 4 floors with attics and basement; all are not open to public though.

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One particular room that I had photographed a lot because of its unique ceiling is the Monarch’s room. The ceiling patterns are mind blowing, words fail to describe the beauty in the designs. The room has hexagons and golden rhombuses in the ceiling and a peculiar frieze with 52 colored and images of people who mattered in the history of Segovia. The Throne Room has a Mudejar dome (kind of architecture) and Gothic- Mudejar plasterworks. The walls are covered with velvet and series of portraits of different kings.

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The gardens too looked well manicured with interesting patterns. The views of plains of Segovia seemed perfect!

Opening timings
1 April to 30 September – From 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
1 October to 31 March- Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Summer opening hours – Monday to Thursday: from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The monument is closed on 1st and 6th January, 25th June and 25th December.
Afternoons of 24th and 31st December.

Tickets and prices
General entrance ticket: 3.50 €
Reduced price entry: 2.30 €
Free entry: Children under 6 years old and every Tuesday for citizens of the EU

Tower of Juan II – Ticket – 1 €

Travel Photo Thursday

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32 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    Beautiful images, especially the maze, love it.

  2. Niranjan says:

    Such a beautiful creation! Nice post, Indrani.

  3. yogi Saraswat says:

    It did serve the purpose as royal palace once, after that it became a state prison. I don’t understand that – criminals imprisoned in the huge rooms of a castle? Anyways, later it got converted to Royal Artilery College; the corridors there filled with hustle and bustle of students – that made some sense. These days it is used as military academy. Interesting story . Indrani ji your pictures are perfect always and gives an idea to know and to understand all the related things about that place .

  4. I have a Spanish sister-in-law and visiting Spain has been on the cards for a long time now. Your posts are making it all the more tempting 🙂

  5. Paresh says:

    Superb craftsmanship

  6. ladyfi says:

    Wow – love those gardens! What great shots.

  7. Sims says:

    Beautiful pictures Indrani. You have got lots from Spain. Very informative.

  8. Perfecto ! The images are beautiful, I so love the ceiling in the Monarch’s room. I’m sure you had a great time 🙂

  9. so exciting are the pictures

  10. Shrikant says:

    Wow… awesome visuals!

  11. Arun says:

    Such an interesting place this is!
    The garden is really very well maintained with some great designs!

  12. Jeevan says:

    Very beautiful castle and like u said, the interior and ceiling parts were mind-blowing! You also got great views from the top and nice garden work

  13. eileen says:

    Wow, this castle is gorgeous. I would love to explore it on my own. Your photos will do for now. Lovely tour and images. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

  14. ashok says:

    wow…lovely place…liked that maze garden 🙂

  15. That’s a lot from Spain. Wonderful Pictures!

  16. Chaitali says:

    Wow….magnificent. A totally different era.

  17. Wow..what a beautiful place it is!!!!

  18. magiceye says:

    Thank you for the wonderful virtual tour with beautiful photographs!

  19. I am so excited about this post! I loved the Alcazar and the city of Segovia. We almost didn’t go because the day we had plans ended up being a holiday (we didn’t know). On top of that, the weather forecast looked bad. But we ended up going and had a fabulous time.

  20. Ami says:

    Sure is like a fairy tale. Amazing 😀

  21. Great photos and I also liked that room that caught your photographer’s eye! What an amazing history and you’ve given us such a great tour!

  22. This brings back memories. I was in Segovia on a VERY cold day back in 2010. I loved the aqueduct. I didn’t visit the castle, opting for a warm place to give my aching bones some much needed heat. This is a good reason to go back. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

  23. Asha says:

    Beautiful images and narration Indrani. That maze looks interesting. One could get lost in it I guess.

  24. Wonderful images. The Alcázar of Segovia is a palace and a fortress of Spanish kings in the in the historic district of Segovia city, Spain.

  25. vatsala mallya says:

    How beautiful it is ,Alcazar of Segovia !
    mindblowing pictures of the intricately done ceiling,the interiors ,the neately done garden so lush green !
    Really awesome !!

  26. I’ve been to Madrid, but never to Segovia. It looks lovely, and I will consider including it on my next trip to Spain. Thx for the heads-up!

  27. Alessandra says:

    Love castles and I actually never heard about this one, but I love the garden. Thank you for sharing such a great post! 🙂

  28. Mimi says:

    This does look way more nice than Alcatraz! I went last summer and it has nothing to do with it… this is GORGEOUS ! Incredible spot, would love to get to Spain to visit it for sure!

  29. Wow- Segovia looks stunnng! Madrid is on our “places to visit” list and now Segovia will definitely be added as a stop when we go to Madrid. Thanks for the info! 😀

  30. These castles never cease to amaze me. The gardens contrasting against the cold stone. The worn interiors, all of it! Amazing

  31. Vyjay says:

    The town looks really to be a place frozen in medieval times. I am sure you could expect a knight in shining armour to emerge from the shadows anytime! The intricate art on the ceiling of the Monarch’s room is really exquisite.

  32. Chris says:

    I’m just like your kids, I love castles too!

    This place looks a stunner, I’ll have to get there myself one day!

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