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Guide to Segovia

What to do and see in Segovia?

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 of Segovia.

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.

Historical Sites in Segovia

  • SegoviaThe 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.
    See Photos of Aquaduct in Segovia.

  • Segovia The 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.
    See Photos of Segovia Cathedral.

  • Segovia Alcázar 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 Mayor.
    See Photos of Alcázar de Segovia.

  • Segovia Calle 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)
    • Palacio de los Torreagero (15th - 16th century)
    • Mirador de la Canaleja
    • Casa 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.

  • Convento 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 here.

  • Corpus Christi: This is an old Synagogue from the 13th century which was the centre for the Hebrew population in Segovia in medieval times.

  • Iglesia 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.

Segovian Gastronomy: 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, rosquillos....).

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 in Segovia.


Places 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 de Sepúlveda.
  • 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.
  • National 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.


Travelling to Segovia? The following links may also be useful
Guides provinces bordering with Segovia and beautiful places in Spain nearby
Travel guides to Spain Travel guides to Spain
Guide to Alicante Guide to Almeria
Guide to Avila Guide to Barcelona
Guide to Caceres Guide to Castellon
Guide to Cuenca Guide to Girona
Guide to Guipuzcoa Guide to Lerida
Guide to Murcia Guide to Tarragona
Guide to Valencia Guide to Zamora
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