Although Madrid and Barcelona are now easily the leading cities in Spain, before their rise there were several very important cities that were centres of culture, architecture and food, and I want to share my favourite of these with you.
Segovia was a Celtic city first, then Roman, then Moorish and finally part of the Catholic reconquest of Spain. It has seen many different cultures and peoples, and each one has left a mark. Some of these are small and some entirely unmissable.
Certainly one of the most significant of these marks is the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia. This central architectural piece is one of the best-preserved aqueducts in the world and is a real part of Segovia and the inhabitants here. This water carrying monster previously ran more than 17 kilometres to the water source, and stands almost 100 feet high! The most amazing thing about this piece of ancient Roman history is that it was still functioning until the late 19th century, bringing water to Segovia for 2000 years.
Like much of the rest of the city, the Alcazar of Segovia was originally Roman, and what visitors can see now are the Moorish and Catholic medieval constructions that lie on top of the Roman fortifications. The fortress, museum, and armoury are more than 1000 years old and have stood the test of time incredibly well. The throne room and armoury are particularly well preserved, and its easy to imagine Queen Isabel I being crowned Queen of Castile and Leon in this castle!
There is a fantastic spot to view the Alcazar from, and looking over this towering fortress from the Mirador de la Pradera de San Marcos is one of the best ways.
Segovia is one of those cities that are easy to miss, but in fact, it's not a long way from Madrid, and very quick to get there. The prices are lower, the people more relaxed, and the squares not as busy. It is one of my favourite cities in Spain, and a beautiful place to appreciate the Roman/Moorish/Catholic historical mix that can be seen in many Spanish cities.
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