Segovia information

Introduction to the Province of Segovia
North of Madrid is the province of Segovia, in the autonomous community of Castille and Leon. Its capital city rivals any of the other great cities of Spain and the province itself, although small, has plenty of other historical and natural attractions for the visitor to enjoy.

Segovia City
The mediaeval city of Segovia should be high on everybody’s list of places to visit. It is not a big place but nonetheless still manages to pack in an impressive number of outstanding architectural and historic monuments.

The sight that first hits the visitor to Segovia is the huge Roman aqueduct that dominates the city. Towering some 30m above the Plaza de Azoguejo and over 800m in length, this impressive feat of Roman engineering is built from blocks of granite that are stacked on top of each other without any mortar to hold them together. The aqueduct and the historic old part of Segovia have been declared UNESCO World heritage Sites.

Equally impressive are the fairytale castle-like Alcazar with its beautiful formal gardens and Segovia’s fine Cathedral (the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain), which houses within its museum the first book ever printed in Spain. Ramble around the city’s narrow streets inside the city walls and you will be rewarded with glorious and rich architectural delights at every turn. The beautiful Convent of San Antonio el Real, the ancient and atmospheric Knights Templar Church of Vera Cruz, the Convent Church of Corpus Cristi, which was formerly the Synagogue for the significant Jewish population of Segovia and the Church of La Trinidad are but some of the ecclesiastical treasures.

Venture outside the city walls and descend to the valley below because from here you will get the most stunning views of Segovia city. You can take a circular walk around the outside of the city’s walls.

For some culture be sure to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art which has a permanent exhibition of works by the Segovian artist Esteban Vicente. For something a little out of the ordinary, visit Segovia in the month of May, when it hosts an International Festival of Puppetry, called Titirimundi.

Around Segovia City and Beyond
Within very easy striking distance from Madrid, Segovia province may be small but it’s delightfully so.

The National Park of Las Hoces del Duraton gets very busy at the weekends when hordes of Madrileños escape from the city but during the week it’s a fine place to observe the nature and wildlife of Segovia, including Spain’s biggest colony of breeding vultures. The reservoir of Pantano de Burgomillodo is a great spot for bird-watching. The nearby village of Sepulveda has a beautiful church, the Iglesia El Slavador, and is a good place to base yourself to explore the area.

The villages of Coca, Turegaño, Medina del Campo and Pedraza are amongst the most beautiful mediaeval villages you will find anywhere in Spain. They all also have fine examples of fortresses and castles that were built in the 15th Century to protect royal residences. A visit to any of these places will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

10km or so south east of Segovia city is the village of San Ildefonso de La Granja. It is famous for its royal palace of the same name that was built by Felipe V, the first Bourbon king of Spain. It has a wonderful mountain setting and extravagant gardens, the highlight of which is its series of jet fountains. The palace also has a huge Glass Museum, dedicated to the famous glass-making tradition of La Granja and beyond. Another royal palace is to be found at Riofrio, set in the middle of a glorious deer park.

The Gastronomy of Segovia
The cuisine of Segovia is typically based on the produce of its lands and rivers and could be summarised as being earthy and rich. The most famous dish of the region is its Cochinillo Asado or roast suckling pig and you will no doubt come across suckling lamb similarly roasted. The Judiones (white beans) produced in the La Granja area are renowned and used in many typical stews of the region. The area is also well known for its river trout and its wild mushrooms, particularly black truffles (Trufa Negra). The Chorizo produced in the Cantimpalos region is highly rated.

The most emblematic dessert of Segovia is Ponche Segoviano which is a layered sponge cake soaked in an alcoholic sugary syrup, covered with marzipan and then decorated in a criss-cross fashion with burnt sugar. Wash a slice of it down with one of Segovia’s white wines such as Blanco de Nieva or a red such as Valtienda.


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