If you are living in or visiting Madrid, you should definitely set aside a day to visit Segovia, a remote, ancient city! The town belongs to the province of Castilla y León and has about 57,000 inhabitants.
Besides the possibility of renting a car to get there, trains are the most common means of transportation to reach Segovia. There is a high speed train which takes about 30 minutes from Madrid and also the local train that takes 2 hours from Atocha station, the main station in the Spanish capital.
When arriving in Segovia, you can catch a bus right in front of the station that only costs a few cents and leaves you right at the famous aqueduct that is almost 2000 years old (and still works)!
It is not known precisely when it was constructed, but estimates vary between the late first century and early second. It is the most important Roman civil engineering work in Spain and along with the city has been declared World Heritage sites.
Passing through these arcs in the Plaza del Azoguejo, there is a reception center for visitors where you can pick up maps to assist you in the walking through the city. Down the streets Cervantes and Juan Bravo and you’ll pass through monuments and historical buildings that are now house schools and government institutions.
It is worthwhile to stop for a bit at Plaza San Martin, where the Church of San Martin is located, which has Mozarabic aspects in its construction. This type of art refers to the Iberian Christians who lived in territories conquered by the Muslim during the Arabic invasion in the Iberian Peninsula. They kept some of their customs without converting to Islam.
A little further from the Plaza San Martin you will find the Convent of Corpus Christi, which was the former Mayor synagogue and soon you will BE in the Jewish quarter, A population that grew in Segovia during the Middle Ages when the tissue industry exploded. Following the walls of Segovia, built when Alfonso VI of Leon took the city from the Arabs, besides a beautiful view (depending on the time you go, you can see the snow still not melted on the mountains in the background) you can also see the Jewish cemetery.
Finally, you arrive at the Alcazar of Segovia, the royal palace first documented in the year of 1122. It was the favorite residence of some kings and one of the inspirations for Disney’S Cinderella Castle. Besides the domestic visitation in which you drool AT the architecture, arts and diamonds, you can also make a visit to the highest of the towers. The full visitation costs € 6.50.
On the way back from the Alcazar, take the Daoiz Street that will lead you to Plaza Mayor. There you will enjoy European bars as well as checking the Cathedral of the city, the most beautiful I’ve been till today. It was the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain, has 18 chapels and three portals. The visit costs 3 €.
In just one day you can appreciate this word heritage site that lives especially from this “one day tourism”, blends many cultures and has been investing each day more, including launching its candidacy for European Capital of Culture in 2016. And why not? 😉