The magnificent Alcazar of Segovia!

This is another of my favorite cities of my beloved Spain, Segovia. From an early age , I think first time was when I was 10 years old with my mother; I keep coming back over the years, then with my wife, and then with the family and boys and parents and and ….lost count but each time is like the first time. There, the Alcazar of Segovia is awesome, a must to see. I like to update this post but will split into two, to show the fortress per se and the artillery museum apart; hope you enjoy as I.

Well I admit can only recall coming here either taken or by my car from Madrid. The roads are good if hilly and curvy even if now they have expressways such as the AP 6 and AP 61 but my all time favorite is the N603; from Madrid you can come on the A1.  I drive around to find a parking either at 14 Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez next to the tribunal , you walk past the statue to famous restaurant Candido , the Aqueduct (see post) and onwards to the Cathedral (see post)a nice walk indeed or  the magnificent Alcazar. Again, never taken it but you can come by bus and train here.

I have written quite a bit on Segovia and all its attractions before, but this one is the Alcazar needs a stand alone and updated post. To me, the Alcazar is tops for the history and architecture combine, The history of the Alcazar is very interesting and I like it ,but long will try to condense as much as possible.

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The oldest remains were stones of granite like those in the Roman aqueduct so it is assume that in the Roman period there was a castrum or castle here already. On top of these ruins this Alcazar was built  as a Hispano Arabic fortress. The first notice of it was in 1122 a bit after king Alfonso VI of Léon conquered the city ,however, it wasn’t until 1155 that it is shown in text as the Alcazar on a letter kept at the archives of the Cathedral​  ; the Alcazar was the residency of king Alfonso VIII. In the middle ages, the Alcazar became one of the favorite residencies of the kings of Castilla , especially Alfonso X.  The fortress was inhabited many times and was one of the most luxurious palace-castle of the 15C; it was witness to several major events such as the proclamation of queen Isabel la Catolica in 1474 and the awake Mass of king Felipe II and Anne of Austria in 1570 in the Chapel. The fortress served as a prison until 1762,and king Carlos III founded the Royal College of Artillery and later museum here (see post).  In  1862, fire destroyed the ceilings and roof, nobles rooms and they were rebuilt thanks to engravings done in 1839.

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The layout of the fortress is around two areas, exterior with a patio,and well, bridge and tower keeps, and the interior rooms such as Chapel, several noble rooms. The tower keeps or Torre de Homenaje is square with four towerettes with a canon and terrace windows, been done by king John II and once a war room, you can see a nice view of the city and especially the neighborhood of Canonjias, Jewish quarters and Cathedral.  There are two stairs you need to pass to arrive to the top or about 156 steps most in a carrousel stair very narrow and inclined. At the end is the guards room and there is the spot where the night watchman slept. On top there are four levels and mostly used as a prison, the last prisioner here was General Berenguer in the 1930’s.

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The interior has nice decorated rooms of great luxury and it houses the army museum or Museo de Armas as well as the military archives of Segovia, and historical archives oldest of the Spanish armed forces. Let me tell you about the utmost beauty of the interior rooms of the Alcazar, awesome.

The Sala del Palacio Viejo (old palace room) it was built during the reign of king Alfonso VIII and the decoration shows arms of a Germanic style from the 15C.  The Sala de la Chimenea(chimney room) dates from the times of king Felipe II and the furniture is from the 16C, on the walls you see a portrait of Felipe II and another one of Felipe III,a Flemish tapestry of the 16C with Our Lady. The Sala del Trono (throne room) the façade the communicates with the chimney room and still intact its mudejar Arabic original construction with a covered of armor done by 1456. The throne under the mold of the tapetries has a blason or flag of the Catholic Kings and a saying tanto monta or sort of so much rides from early the 15C.  On the walls you see portraits of the same Catholic Kings that were ordered by queen Isabel II. The window stained glass represent king Enrique IV of Castilla.

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We continue in the interior with the Sala de la Galera ( galleon room) it takes this name because the place shows the casque of a boat inverted ; the room was built by queen Catalina de Lancaster in 1412 when her son was still a minor future Juan II of Castilla.  On the windows you see stained glass representing king Enrique III of Castilla and his family and another of Enrique II with scenes from the death of Pedro I and Juan II.  On one of the walls is decorated with a painting representing the coronation of queen Isabel la Catolica as queen of Castilla and Leon in the Church of San Miguel  of Segovia. The  Sala de las Piñas (pine cones room) on the ceiling you can see angels carrying the shield of arms of Castilla and Leon, the stained glass shows king Alfonso VII with his daughter Berenguela. The Cámara Regia (or great room) on the wall you can see scenes from the life of the Catholic Kings. The bed is covered with knitting and embroidery in gold. The Sala de los Reyes (kings room) king Felipe II  ordered it built statues corresponding to the kings of Asturias, Leon and Castilla.  One of the paintings in the room is a portrait of king Felipe II  and the other two portraits are of his two wives Isabel of Valois  and  Anne of  Austria.  The Sala del Cordón (cord room) has this name because the surrounding of the walls there is a cord long and golden. You arrive at the Chapel, there is a small Chapel in the sala de cordón  from where the king or queen listen to the Mass.  The arms room or Sala de Armas is here because the Alcazar house the arms of the old House of Trastàmara (the branch of Segovia of Queen Isabel the Catholic of Castille and Leon) and was the precedent from which the arms now were united in the Royal Armory of Madrid.

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Inside there is the Museo del Real Colegio de Artillería or the Royal College of Artillery Museum, but this is in another post, see next.

Again, this is a must while in Segovia and worth your detour if in Spain. I love and could not possibly come to Segovia or Madrid for that matter without stopping by. Luckily, this has been often in the last few years. Some further webpages to help plan your visit are :

The official Alcazar webpage: http://www.alcazardesegovia.com/

The Comunidad Autonoma region of Castilla y Leon tourist board on the Alcazar: https://www.turismocastillayleon.com/en/art-culture-heritage/castles/alcazar-segovia

The Segovia tourist office on the Alcazar: http://visitsegovia.turismodesegovia.com/es/monuments/alcazar

There you go folks, a wonderful beautiful fortress of Alcazar in gorgeous Segovia. Hope you enjoy the post as I; this is a wonderful town, small enough to walk all over. and huge in Spanish history with marvelous architecture, love it. And this is the Alcazar of Segovia!

And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!

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2 Comments to “The magnificent Alcazar of Segovia!”

  1. In 2009 I climbed to the top to enjoy the views.
    It is said that the Castle is the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.

    Liked by 1 person

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