Segovia is one of Spain's
most famous historic cities. It is located in the Castilla and León region
just half an hour's drive from Madrid. The collection of historical monuments,
their conservation together with its beauty make this an impressive city to visit.
It was delared a World Heritage Site in 1985. See photos
Some of the surrounding villages, entrapped in small
valleys within the canyons of the River Doratón also have superb Roman
historical monuments to see. Segovia is a relatively small province and you can
get to most of the nearby well known villages very easily but for those looking
for something more peaceful off the main tourist route there are a number of lesser
known but equally interesting villages which offer accommodation in rural hotels.
Segovia is a province of great contrasts.
It covers 7000 km2 and rises to 2500 metres above sea level in its mounta¡nous
areas and drops to 750 metres in its lowest areas. The province borders with the
south of Madrid, the north of Burgos and Valladolid, the east of Soria and the
west of Ávila and Guadalajara.
The climate: Segovia has a
stable climate with cold winters and hot summers, very typical for Castilla and
Leon. It does not have very extreme temperatures unlike other areas further north.
The average temperature is between 10 and 20 degrees although this may drop in
the higher areas.
Fiestas in Segovia: The fiestas take place on
25th Octuber, San Frutos. And there are fiestas to celebrate San Juan in June
(24th to 30th). The Easter processions in Segovia are famous throughout Spain.
There is also a well known puppet theatre festival in Segovia in May called Titirimundi in which almost 100 puppet theatre companies from all over the world participate.
Sites in Segovia
- The Aquaduct: This is Segovia's best
known historical monument, clearly visiblefrom the outskirts of the city.It was built towards the end of 1 A.D. It measures 800 metres and at its highest
point it reaches 28 metres, in the la Plaza del Azoguejo. This impressive piece
of Roman engineering has 166 arches and 120 columns on two levels. Until relatively
recently it was still in use and is probably one of the best conserved Romanaquaducts
in the world.
of Aquaduct in Segovia.
Cathedral: Located in the Plaza Mayor, this beautiful Cathedral looms over
Segovia's historic centre. Itwas built in a Renaissance Gothic style in the 16th
century following the destruction of the previous Roman cathedral. It has a museum
which has the first printed book in Spain from 1472 - el Sinodal de Aguilafuente.
This Cathedral is acclaimed for both its size and beauty, designed by Juan Gil
de Hontañón, it has 3 naves with adjoining chapels on each side.
of Segovia Cathedral.
de Segovia: Located a short walk from the Cathedral, this impressive fortress
could have Roman orCeltic origins. (recent excavations have found similar stones
to those used in the construction of the aquaduct.) It was built in the 14th century
when the transiton from Roman to Gothicbegan. Alfonso el Sabio converted it into
one of his favourite residences and during the rest of the middle ages it was
still visited by the Kings of Castilla. Isabel la Católica used it as a
place to start her royal procession before being proclaimed queen in the Plaza
of Alcázar de Segovia.
Real: This is a pedestrianised street which joins the Plaza del Azoguejo to
the Plaza Mayor - it has lots of interesting monuments:
- Palacio de los
del Río (16th century)
- Palacio del Conde de Alpuente (5th century)
de los Torreagero (15th - 16th century)
- Mirador de la Canaleja
de los Picos
- Plaza de Juan Bravo
- Iglesia de San Martín
(15th century), one of the best examples of a Roman church in the city.
de San Antonio El Real: Built in 1455 as a summer residence for Enrique IV,
it was later given to nuns of the Order of Saint Clare by Isabel la Catolica.
This beautiful building became a national monument in 1931 although it was closed
to the public until very recently.
- Convento de los Padres Carmelitas:
The remains of the poet San Juan de la Cruz who wrote Llama de Amor Viva are kept
- Corpus Christi: This is an old Synagogue from the 13th century
which was the centre for the Hebrew population in Segovia in medieval times.
de la Vera Cruz: Roman church on the outskirts of Segovia where it is said
a piece of Christ's cross was received.
- Museo de arte contemporáneo
de Segovia (The Contemporary Art Museum): Located in an ancient palace
which once belonged to Enrique IV, Renaissance style architecture. It has a permanent
exhibition of work by Esteban Vicente.
- Palacio Episcopal: Dating
back to the 16th century this building is currently used as an episcopal residence.
Located next to the 11th century Roman church, Iglesia San Esteban,
See Photos of monuments in Segovia.
The star of Segovian cuisine is without doubt roast meat, especially pork and
lamb. There are a great number of restaurants in Segovia and the surrounding province
that offer excellent roasts. Other typical dishes from the province are Castellana
soup, beans, stews and trout. The cold meats are very good and the local wines
have a lot of personality and are quite strong. Typical desserts are 'el ponche
segoviano' and there are lots of local cakes and pastries to try (florones, tortas,
Recommended Restaurants in Segovia: : Segovia's
most famous restaurant is Mesón de Cándido set in a privileged location
just next to the aquaduct. Candido became famous during the Franco dictatorship,
and the restaurant continues specialising in roast suckling pork. Popular with
tourists, it is a bit cramped as tables are very close to eachother and service
very brisk. Meson Duque and Mesón José María also offer excellent
roasts and have the advantage of not being as busy as Cándido. For creative
and innovative cuisine Cocina de Segovia, Villena and Maracaibo-Casa restaurants
are an excellent option.
Accommodation in Segovia: The city has
a Parador hotel on a hill with fantastic views of the city of Segovia and all
its main sights. Nevertheless the quality and the service is not really up to
the standard offered by other parador hotels. For other options see Hotels
to visit in Segovia Province
- Sepúlveda - A beautiful village in the middle of 'las hoces del Río Duratón'.Click on name for furtherdescription and see photos
- Ayllón - Medieval village
with quiet streets for strolling along. A beautiful village in pretty countryside.
Located 93 kms to the north of Segovia (capital). There are lots of old mansions
and houses in the village including the home of the poet Antonio Machado. Also
a Roman bridge and a walled area.
- Pedraza - Possibly the most beautiful village in Segovia province but quite busy at weekends
so it's advisable to visit on a weekday to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in this
village with its ancient buildings. Click on name for further information.
- Coca - Another small village about 50 kms from Segovia. Its old part with its remains
of the old village wall has been declared of 'special cultural interest'. The
castle dates back to the 15th century and is considered to be one of the most
original in Spain.
- La Granja de San Ildefonso - This village is
located just 12kms from Segovia and has links with several generations of Spanish
royalty. The Royal Palace in the village is a national monument not just for the
17th century building but also for its impressive gardens with fountains and sculptures.
Very busy at weekends given its location not from from Segovia or Madrid.
Park 'las Hoces del Duratón' This is where you can see impressive canyons
along 25 kms of the river. As well as having the largest colony of vultures nesting
in the rocks of the canyons there are also 130 types of other birds in the park.
There are some cave paintings dating back to the Bronze age and bridges, chapels
and Roman roads to explore.