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Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct

Travel Guide Europe Spain Castile and León Segovia Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct

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Introduction

Segovia, Old town (view from the Alcazar tower)

Segovia, Old town (view from the Alcazar tower)

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

Segovia is a small town with a long history. Built by the Arevaci, an ancient tribe who lived in the Meseta Central, it was conquered by the Roman Empire in the first century AD and turned into a strategic military base. The Romans constructed what is now one of the town's most famous sights: an aqueduct. The town's other famous sights, its Gothic cathedral and the Alcázar, were both constructed during the Middle Ages, when Segovia was part of the Kingdom of Castile.

These days, Segovia has a population of around 55,000 inhabitants. Set a 1000 meters above sea level on the slopes of the Sierra de Gauadarrama, Segovia is located in the south of Castile and León, near the border with the Community of Madrid. Thanks to its proximity to Madrid, the town is an excellent day-trip for travellers staying in the Spanish capital.

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Introduction

The Old City of Segovia and the Aqueduct was classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

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Sights and Activities

Segovia - Alcazar

Segovia - Alcazar

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

Roman Aqueduct

One of the most special sights of Segovia is the Roman aqueduct, which has been intact since the Romans first built it 2000 years ago. It dayes bak to the end of the first or beginning of the second century. The aqueduct measures up to 28 metres at its tallest point, and stretches for 728 metres. It was used ashe final stage to bring water from the mountains more than 17 kilometres away, until the late 19th century.

Alcazar

Segovia's Alcázar is a picture-perfect castle that looks like it's been ripped from the pages of a fairytale. Situated at the far western end of the walled city, it affords a splendid view over the town and surrounding regions.

There is an information centre in one of the buildings to the left as you're entering the Alcázar. Tickets can be bought there to climb the tower, which is well worth it. Once inside, you will receive a brochure (available in many languages) with information about each room of the Alcázar. Interesting rooms to visit are the Hall of Kings, named after the seated statues of Kings, the Throne room and the Armory room.

Cathedral

The Cathedral of Segovia towers over the old city. Building this Gothic church was commented in the 16th century, and finally completed 200 years later. It stands on the site of an older church, which burned down.

Cathedral at night, Segovia

Cathedral at night, Segovia

© All Rights Reserved JonHarrisphoto

Old City

Besides the already mentioned sights, there are more things to see in the Old City, including the three old Romanesque churches of San Juan de los Cabelleros, San Eseban and San Martín. Casa de los Picos, a 15th century mansion with a unique facade, is found near the aqueduct just inside the city walls. Segovia also has a synagogue that can be visited.

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Getting There

By Train

Segovia is easily accessible by train. From Madrid, the trip only takes about half an hour. If you're travelling from most other places in the country, catching a train to Madrid and going from there is the easiest option. There is also a Valladolid - Segovia - Madrid service which can be easier to get to if you're coming from the northwest of Spain.

See the InfoSegovia website for a timetable (in Spanish). There are also some slower and cheaper options to get there by train from Madrid and places like Valladolid, Salamanca and Avila.

By Car

From Madrid: Follow the A-6 and the AP-61 to reach Segovia.
From Avila: Follow the A-6 (towards Madrid) and the AP-61 to reach Segovia.
From Valladolid: Follow CL-601 directly to Segovia or the N-601 (to the south) and the CL-605 to reach Segovia.

By Bus

There is a bus station in Segovia which has rides to most of the major cities and nearby towns, including Madrid, Valladolid, Cuellar, Salamanca and Avila.

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Getting Around

Segovia, Roman aquaduct

Segovia, Roman aquaduct

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

By Car

You can actually drive into the old city from the north side, but to explore the town it is best to park the car and continue on foot.

By Public Transport

Buses run from the train station to the old city, making a stop at the bus station.

On Foot

Segovia can easily be done by foot. Note that you will have to climb the difference in height between the new city, and the old city above, but if you enter the old city from the aqueduct, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. If you arrive by train, and you don't want to walk to the old city (takes 15 minutes), then catch the bus.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 18:46 on Dec 20, 09 by Herr Bert. 1 article links to this page.

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