Segovia Spain exudes classic Spain with its centuries-old architecture, and it doesn't hurt that the beautiful mountains of the Sierra de Guardarrama serve as a backdrop. Dominating the skyline of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the soaring tower of the main Cathedral. Should you walk east from the central Cathedral towards the point where the city is cut off by the Eresma and Clamores rivers, you will find the stunning Alcazar that inspired Walt Disney's castle for Sleeping Beauty. There is arguably no castle in the world that is more splendid to the eye, save perhaps for the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria Germany.
One of the other signature Segovia attractions that is not to be overlooked is the immaculately preserved Roman aqueduct that cuts right through the eastern part of town. The large aqueduct that can be found in and around Segovia Spain is one of the most impressive Roman relics on the Iberian Peninsula. Work on this grand structure started back in the first century AD, and you might be interested to know that not a speck of mortar was used in the process. It's not entirely unlike the masterful Inca stonework that is on display in Peru destinations such as Cuzco and Machu Picchu. The aqueduct in Segovia features more than 100 arches and is 95 feet tall at its highest point. It straddles the old market square and you can't miss it when driving into town. Should you be driving from Madrid to Segovia, you can see other ruins from the aqueduct system that the Romans built to get water from the mountains to their area settlements.
When it comes to the history of Segovia Spain, it is worth noting that it was in this golden city that Isabella I was crowned the queen of Castile in 1474. Standing on the site where this occurred is the grand Segovia Cathedral, which replaced the former San Miguel Church. Work on the Segovia Cathedral started in the early 1500s, and the structure is hailed as the country's last major Gothic project. Numerous flying buttresses and scores of picturesque pinnacles adorn the outside of this renowned edifice. Once you step inside, you are greeted with beautiful stained-glass windows, sumptuously carved choir stalls, Old World paintings that date back to the 1500s, and magnificent cloisters that were left over from the San Miguel Church. The Segovia Cathedral is open daily, and it doesn't cost anything to go inside should you want to take a look around. Should you wish to view the contents in the onsite museum, view the antiquated cloisters, and inspect the chapel room, however, there is a relatively small fee.
On the western side of Segovia Spain, old castle walls follow along the ridge that was formed by the Eresma River. You can walk along the sides and tops of these walls and maybe even explore the small, park areas that flank them. The walls eventually lead to the Alcazar, which is one of the other Segovia attractions that is not to be missed. The original Moorish castle that was built on the site of Segovia's stunning Alcazar dated back to the 1100s and was largely destroyed by fire. Restoration projects started in 1862, and the aim was to create an over-the-top reproduction of the original castle. For those who are interested in the history of Segovia Spain, it is worth noting that the Alcazar was where Ferdinand and Isabella first met. It also served as the venue for the marriage of Philip II to Anne of Austria in 1570. The views of Segovia from the Alcazar's tower are truly amazing.
These are the most renowned Segovia attractions, and they easily warrant a visit to the city on their own. Other attractions that you might also include on the itinerary include the Iglesia de la Vera Cruz and the Monasterio del Parral. The former is known as the Church of the Real Cross in English and was built by the Knights Templar sometime around the twelfth or thirteenth century. The Knights Templar reportedly stood guard over a piece from the Real Cross in the Iglesia de la Vera Cruz in Segovia, and you can go inside to take a look around for a small fee. As for the Monasterio del Parral, it is one more religious point of interest that can be found in a city that is full of them. Established in the 1400s, this monastery features a few different architectural styles and can be toured for free. A robed monk will serve as your tour guide.
The rich history of Segovia Spain is on display through its numerous historic buildings, and walking the relatively narrow streets of the Old City is a true joy. After a day spent exploring the city, you can cap things off with an unforgettable dining experience. Segovia's signature dish is lechona, or roast suckling pig.
Segovia is a popular Madrid day trip destination, but since there are some good Segovia hotels to choose from, staying overnight on a visit is worth considering. Regardless of how long you plan on staying, the train ride from Madrid to Segovia takes about two hours, unless you hop on the speed train (AVE), on which it only takes about 35 minutes to execute the 55-mile route. For those who take the bus instead, the trip between Madrid and Segoiva will last around an hour and a half. You can also rent a car and drive yourself, which can help cut down on travel time.