Best Places To Travel In Segovia

Best Places To Travel In Segovia, the old quarter of which, along with its Roman aqueduct, are World Heritage Sites, lies on high ground between the Eresma and Clamores Rivers.

In addition to its famous aqueduct, numerous Romanesque churches, the Cathedral and Fortress go to form this magnificent landscape that presides over this part of Castile.

Its modern Parador Hotel is one of the best places for the visitor to savour the city's most traditional dish: roast suckling pig. Moreover, Segovia is an excellent starting point to tour the province and visit to the La Granja Palace, as well as the Gorges of the Duratón River Nature Reserve, among other attractions.

The Aqueduct of Segovia

Best Places To Travel In Segovia
The Aqueduct of Segovia
It must have been one of the largest in the Roman world. The aqueduct is thought to have been built during the Flavian dynasty, from the second half of the first century to the early 2nd century CE under the Emperors Vespasian and Trajan in order to carry the water of the River Acebeda to the city. This impressive work of engineering, still in excellent condition, begins near the Palace of La Granja, with single arches bringing the water to the tank known as El Caserón.

Then, a stonework channel carries it to a second tower, and when it arrives at Plaza de Díaz Sanz, it begins to form two monumental rows of arches, one on top of the other. There is no mortar or cement between the 20,400 blocks of stone, which remain standing solidly in a perfect balance of forces. The highest point of the construction is on Plaza del Azoguejo, where it is 28.10 m high, with a total of 167 arches.

There is an Aqueduct Interpretation Centre in the Royal Segovia Mint, a modern interactive space with multimedia content that follows the journey of the water, guiding visitors through 15 kilometres of the world's best-preserved Roman aqueduct and more than 2,000 years of history of this masterpiece of engineering, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

Segovia Cathedral

Best Places To Travel In Segovia
Segovia Cathedral
It was the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain. Built at the highest point of the town, construction of the cathedral of Segovia began in the year 1525, during the reign of Carlos V. It is in the late Gothic style and was built after the fire in the old Romanesque cathedral in the year 1520.

It has a ground plan with three naves, lateral chapels and a semicircular sanctuary with an ambulatory. The church was built according to the design of Juan Gil de Hontañón, and has three doorways: the Puerta del Perdón, the work of Juan Guas, is on the main façade, while on the southern face we have the San Geroteo and San Frutos Doors. It measures 105 m by 50 m and stands 33 m high at the main nave. The main altarpiece is made of marble, jasper and bronze. It was consecrated in the year 1768.

Alcázar fortress in Segovia

Best Places To Travel In Segovia
Alcázar fortress in Segovia
Standing between the confluence of the Eresma and Clamores rivers, the first documented record of the fortress dates back to Christian writings in the 12th century. It was built on top of a rock, a testament to its original military status. It was used as a residence by Alfonso VIII.

In the 13th century the building took on an air of Gothic elegance thanks to the Spanish architects working for John II and Henry IV. The last architectural phase was completed in 1587 by the architect Francisco de Mora, possibly in collaboration with Juan de Herrera, who designed the main courtyard and the Escuela de Honor building. In 1764, Charles II founded the Royal College of Artillery here. The edifice has a number of secret passageways that lead to the river and connect several of the city's palaces.

Real Casa de Moneda in Segovia

Best Places To Travel In Segovia
Real Casa de Moneda in Segovia
The Royal Mint was founded by Philip II and designed by Juan de Herrera. It now holds two museum spaces: the Museum of the Casa de la Moneda and the Aqueduct Interpretation Centre.

Located beside the Eresma River and the Alcázar palace, it is the oldest example of industrial architecture still existing in Spain. It operated as a Royal Mint between 1586 and 1869, and still conserves its hydraulic infrastructure intact, with a dam in the Eresma river.

Part of the hydraulic system is on display in the outdoor courtyard, with a reproduction of the wooden channels and waterwheels which today, as in the 16th century, power the machinery. The Aqueduct Visitor Centre is a modern, interactive, multimedia space with information on the 2,000 years of history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Antonio Machado House-Museum

Best Places To Travel In Segovia
Antonio Machado House-Museum
The poet Antonio Machado lived in this house-museum for 13 years (1919-1932). It was the hostel where the poet stayed during his time as a teacher in Segovia. It houses an exhibition on his professional career. The garden houses a reproduction of a bust Emiliano Barral sculpted of the poet in 1920. There is also a ceramic panel by Julián López Parras. The house is filled with mementos of the poet, including much of his furniture and other decorative and pictorial elements from his life.

Segovia City Walls

Best Places To Travel In Segovia
Segovia City Walls
The exhibition space is formed by the San Andrés Gate and the Tourist Information Point. A substantial part of the wall that surrounded Segovia in medieval times, starting at the Alcázar fortress, still stands.

The Tourist Information Point can tell you about the gates, wickets and buildings you will see as you walk along the wall. You can also go up to the parapets, where there are magnificent views of the Jewish quarter, the city's medieval military architecture, and the Jewish necropolis on the other side of the Clamores valley.

The San Andrés gate, between two sturdy towers, and the gates of San Cebrián and Santiago, both with horseshoe arches over rusticated stone, stil stand. Originally there were two more gates, but they no longer exist.

Segovia Museum

Best Places To Travel In Segovia
Segovia Museum
The collection on display contains around 1,500 exhibits on archaeology, ethnology and fine arts. The museum was created in 1842. Highlights of its collection include a pair of Celtiberian boars, Roman mosaics, Visigoth enamels, and a series of panels by 15th- and 16th-century Castilian and Flemish painters, as well as important collections of coins.

There are also crystal and glass items from the Royal Factory at La Granja de San Ildefonso, along with religious sculptures and engravings by Dürer and Rembrandt. The museum has changed sites on numerous occasions before coming to its current venue, a fortification in the city wall known as the Casa del Sol. It has a subsidiary, the Zuloaga Museum, which is housed in one of the most ornately decorated Romanesque churches in Segovia.

Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art

Best Places To Travel In Segovia
Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art
The museum is housed in the palace of Henry IV of Spain dating from 1455, and contains an exceptional collection of works by this important Spanish artist.

Esteban Vicente is the only Spanish artist belonging to the first generation of the New York school of Abstract Impressionism. The core of the collection comprises the 153 works that the artist and his wife donated to the museum. Oil paintings, collages, watercolours, sculptures and lithographs are some of the items to be found in the collection. It covers the whole of the artist's evolution and his different periods of artistic creation.

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