Segovia holds one of the most impressive collections of Romanesque art and architecture in Europe. The city is dominated by the magnificent and perfectly preserved Aqueduct, built by the Romans during their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, and is home to the fairytale Alcázar fortress, which overlooks the city from the top of a hill. The two-thousand-year old city of Segovia challenges time as it navigates into the future with its rich historical background, which is the wonder and admiration of the tens of thousands of travellers that visit the city every day.
Location, map, useful information
Located north of the large mountain range that cuts the central plateau of the Iberian Peninsula in two, Segovia is one of the nine provinces of the Autonomous Region of Castilla y León. It covers a total surface area of 6,796 square kilometres, spread out over mountain chains, plains and valleys, with height differences of approximately 2,000 metres. Segovia borders to the north with the provinces of Valladolid and Burgos, to the east with Soria and Guadalajara, to the south with the Autonomous Region of Madrid, and to the west with Ávila. It covers a total surface area of 6,796 km2, which makes it the smallest province of Castilla y León. The capital of the province is the homonymous city of Segovia. Segovia has a population of 155,517 inhabitants.
History, Art and Heritage
The city of Segovia, home to the Roman Aqueduct and the Alcázar, and to numerous fortresses, Renaissance palaces and Romanesque temples, is one of the three cities in Castilla y León that have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The first human settlements in Segovia date back to very ancient times. The hills on which the Alcázar now stands were once home to a Celtic hill fort. During the Roman Period, Segovia belonged to the judicial Conventus of Clunia. The city is believed to have been abandoned after the Islamic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. After the conquest of Toledo by Alfonso VI of Castilla, the son-in-law of King Alfonso VI, Count Raymond of Burgundy, and the first bishop of the re-established diocese, the French cleric Pedro de Agen, started to repopulate Segovia with Christians from northern Spain and southern France, granting it jurisdiction over an extensive area of land that spread out to the other side of the Guadarrama Mountain Range and beyond the boundary line of the Tajo River.
Leisure and gastronomy
Segovia became a standard reference in Spanish gastronomy during the first half of the 20th century. In a few decades' time, the newly established kingdom had managed to defeat the hunger and famine of its people and provide them with an abundance of food. The crème de la crème of the region's famous gastronomy is the roast suckling pig, slit open lengthwise, roasted to a golden brown crunchy crust and served on a clay dish. Also very famous is the roast baby lamb, a typical dish in a province of farmers and shepherds.
- Cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig)
- Lechazo asado (roast baby lamb)
- Sopas de ajo (garlic soup)
- Judiones de la Granja (king-size beans)
- Ponche segoviano (sweet dessert pie)
Near the city
The walled enclosure. An ancient wall with 3 façades and several small gates still visible, which has been almost completely preserved (with the exception of two gates) and "completely" surrounds the old part of the city.
The Roman aqueduct.
The medieval Alcázar fortress: a fortified palace, seat of the ancient Kingdom of Castilla.
The large number of Romanesque churches, among which stand out the Churches of San Esteban, San Millán, San Martín, La santísima Trinidad (The Holy Trinity), San Andrés, San Clemente, San Juste y Pastor, and the Church of San Salvador in the district of Salvador. These churches were built of stone and brick, a typical feature of Romanesque art in Segovia.
The Gothic Cathedral, of an elegant yellow-limestone colour, with its numerous pinnacles and slender tower.
The civil architecture, with numerous ancient medieval palaces, with its typical façades, column halls, coats of arms and large fortified towers. Special mention goes to the numerous façades on Calle Daoiz, the "Casa del Sello" on Calle San Francisco, the "Casa-Museo del Torreón de Lozoya" on Plaza de San Martín, the "Casa del siglo XV" (also called "Casa de Juan Bravo"), the "Casa de Conde Alpuente" (Public Works), the "Casa de los Picos", and many others on Calle Real.
The traditional civil architecture, with typical Segovia rooftops and building façades adorned with magnificent engravings.
The churches and convents of Vera Cruz located outside the ancient walls, the Monastery of San Antonio el Real, the Monastery of El Parral, El Cristo del Mercado.
The outer district of San Lorenzo, on the banks of the Eresma River, with its square of brick and stone porches and Romanesque church.
The Jewish Quarter: the Jewish district, the ancient synagogue (now the Church of Corpus Christi) and the Jewish cemetery in the Pinarillo district, with its centre of interpretation housed in the Palace of Abraham Senyor.
The Royal Mill Mint ("Casa de la Moneda"), the oldest industrial building in Europe.
"Green Segovia"; the walled enclosure is located in the confluence of two rivers (Eresma and Clamores) and is surrounded by wide green areas. A true oasis in the midst of the vast Castilian plains.
The city's skyline, dominated by the Roman Aqueduct, the Alcázar fortress, the Gothic Cathedral and numerous church and palace towers, framed by the Guadarrama Mountain Range against one of the most beautiful blue skies in Spain, which is best appreciated from the Mirador (viewpoint) in the municipal district of La Lastrilla.
La Taberna Rubi, the oldest tavern in the city, dates back to 1861 and is located in the very heart of the city centre on the Plaza Mayor.