Thursday, January 21, 2016

Segovia: The castle, the cathedral and the aqueduct

Segovia is another common day trip from Madrid - about 30 minutes by high speed train (AVE) or an hour on the bus.

The AVE leaves from Chamartín station (not Atocha) and drops you about 6 km from the centre of Segovia, however the Number 11 bus meets all the train arrivals and goes into the centre of Segovia.

The No.11 trip is about 15 mins of travelling through the very ugly outskirts of Segovia until it winds down the hill to give a spectacular view of Segovia's famous aqueduct.


Looking down to the bus mall
Another view of the aqueduct
Aqueduct from the bus stop

The aqueduct was built in 1CE by the Romans and remained in active use until the 19th century.

The aqueduct terminates in the "Well room" of the Segovia Alcázar.


The Segovia Alcázar was originally a Roman fort, however, several newer constructions on the site have all but removed the original Roman structure. The current distinctive construction of the Alcázar is from the 16th century - the slate roofed spires being inspired by northern European architecture.

The inside if the Alcázar houses a museum and several artefacts from its time as a Royal residence up until the 19th century.


The original throne room
Restored hall of amor
Cannon
Original armoury

Unfortunately, many of the artifacts were destroyed in a fire in the 19th century, but some still remain while others where restored from detailed contemporaneous drawings.


The Cathedral from Plaza Mayor

The other landmark that Segovia is famous for is it's cathedral. In the 15th century its tower was one of the highest in Spain and it still commands impressive views of the city.


The Cathedral from the bellringers quarters
Segovia from the bell tower
Another view from the bell tower
The Cathedral from the bell tower
The bells in the bell tower

Climbing the 300 odd steps to the bell tower is quite exhausting and calls for a calorific lunch - luckily the local specialty is suckling pig's head which is just the thing after a day of wandering around Segovia.


Mmm suckling pig

Segovia is my last entry in Europe - next I am on to adventures in South America...