More than a Roman aqueduct – 10 reasons to visit Segovia city

Once they announced that we would be allowed to leave Catalonia again, after 6 months of municipal, county-wise, provincial, regional and whatever completely non-sense territorial lockdowns – exactly as of the day of 12th of May, 2021, which in my opinion should be a public holiday as of now, when people again could have access to one of their fundamental personal rights of free mobility within a country – we immediately decided that on the upcoming weekend, we go for a “Vueltita a España“. The plan was to visit 3 bigger historical towns in the region of Castile and León: Salamanca, Avila & Segovia! This article here is to convince you with 10 reasons why to visit Segovia, besides the obvious worldwide famous Aqueduct of Segovia.

If you are our reader for a longer time, you must be familiar with our “Vuelta a España” travel series and the concept itself (if not, just click on the link and get inspired by all the amazing destinations in Spain that we had the chance to visit so far). “Vueltita” obviously means a shorter and quicker roundtrip, since we had only 4 consecutive days free. Nevertheless the shorter period of time, of course we have chosen one of the furthest region from us, if we are allowed to go finally, then let’s go, we meant it, let’s just keep moving forward again, as one of my favourite quote is saying:

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Martin Luther King Jr.

10 reasons to go to Segovia

Aqueduct of Segovia

The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the best-preserved elevated Roman aqueducts of the world, and the foremost symbol of Segovia, as evidenced by its presence on the city’s coat of arms. It is one of the most impressive Roman Empire legacies in Spain. It is made up of 166 arches that span the more than 17-km-long aqueduct that carried water from La Acebeda to the Alcázar, defying gravity because the only thing that keeps the structure standing is the balance of forces and no mortar was used in its construction.

Legend says that Segovia’s Aqueduct is the result of a pact between a girl and the devil in which she offered him her soul in exchange for water to reach her house before the crack of dawn.

The hidden part of the Aqueduct

The visible layout of the aqueduct is worldwide famous, however the hidden part of it almost completely unknown. The hidden route, which is underground, so called “Canal Madre” supplied the water to the entire town. With the aim of raising awareness of this subterranean section, an itinerary with other patrimonial attractions has been drawn up. 24 bronze plaques (10×15 cm) inserted into the pavement will guide the tourists along a curious route, a route which will invite them to enhance their knowledge of this impressive piece dating back more than 2000 years.

Besides the Obvious tip: It is also kind of fun to look for the little plaques and play along the sightseeing tour, who will notice the next plaque first. Believe me, it won’t be easy!

Catedral de Segovia

You cannot miss the Cathedral, as its tower is always visible from all around the town. The apse of this temple, which construction began in 1525, marks the border between the Plaza Mayor and the Judera Vieja (Old Jewish Quarter). The 16th century stained glass windows and the Sabatini Altarpiece are particularly noteworthy on the inside.

The Cluster of the Cathedral

Once visiting the Cathedral we should not miss the cluster. It is part of the basic entrance ticket, but it is a bit hidden and not well-marked. In order to get there, you need to follow a closed corridor on the backside of the Cathedral to reach this inner garden.

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is the real center of the town, with a lot of bars, terraces, restaurants, the Cathedral, and some other monuments such as the Juan Bravo Theater or the town hall. It was historically known as Plaza de San Miguel, in reference to the primitive church of San Miguel that originally occupied part of the space of the current plaza. Also, the market was held here in old times and it was also the place where Isabel la Católica was proclaimed Queen of Castile on December 13, 1474. The temple was demolished in 1532 and rebuilt a few meters away to allow the expansion of the current Plaza Mayor. From the end of the nineteenth century, it began to receive the name of Plaza de la Constitución, although it always kept the nickname “Plaza Mayor“.

Alcázar de Segovia

A deep moat with its drawbridge provides access to this fortress, which became the royal residence in the 13th century, and from whose tower, Alfonso X. studied the firmament.

Built upon the site of a former Roman fort, the Alcázar became a favorite royal residence for the Castile monarchs during the Middle Ages.  After the crown relocated to Madrid, it later served as a prison for 200 years and eventually became the home of the Royal Artillery School in 1762.

Iglesia de San Andrés

The convent of Nuestra Señora de la Merced, founded in 1367, once existed in this same square, where now Iglesia de San Andrés stands. The church is located on the west side of the square and, although subject to alterations, it still preserves two apses of its primitive Romanesque style, with semicircular, columns, capitals, corbels, and Byzantine moldings. It has a tower of three bodies, plastered and with a spire, sharp and slate. The north portal is the original one.

Iglesia de San Esteban

It’s hard to record all the churches around Segovia, wherever you go or see, surely you will find a church that you haven’t crossed with before. San Esteban is one of these, amazingly beautifully standing out from the city center.

The Old Quarter

Take a stroll around the charming streets of the city’s old quarter, including the Jewish Quarter – Judería Vieja, Santa Ana, Corralillo de los Huesos. The city center is not big, on a single afternoon you are able to walk around comfortably by stopping by at the most famous sightseeing points. Worth knowing that in the old quarter you cannot use bikes & electric scooters either. One reason for that is that majority of the streets are with cobblestones, and besides that, it is prohibited by the city council.

Casa de los Picos

Casa de los Picos is definitely an interesting point of the city, standing out with its unusual appearance. In the last third of the fifteenth century, Segovia’s Governor D. Juan de la Hoz, commissioned this typical Castilian home “by building this façade from the base to the cornice, but the holes. Only blocks carved in a diamond shape can fit in them. So this ornament appears not planted here and there on the front as can be seen in La Casa de las Conchas in Salamanca, but covering them and thus preserving all the sullen rudeness of the medieval character”.

Over the years the building has gone through several public and private ownerships. In the ’70s the building was transferred to the Ministry of Education which restored and revamped this historic building with the name of The School of Applied Arts in 1977.

How to get to Segovia

Segovia is located on the plains of Old Castile, near Valladolid and the Spanish capital, Madrid. Segovia is one of nine provinces that make up the autonomous region of Castile and León. The town lies on the main route of the Camino de Santiago de Madrid.

By car
  • From Madrid: 90 km on A-6 and AP-61 roads, it takes approximately 1 hour and 20-30 minutes.
  • From Barcelona: 715 km on A-2 and AP-2 roads, it takes at least 8-9 hours with stopping to get there. The road goes via Lleida, Zaragoza & Calatayud, if you have more days, it’s definitely worth combining the route with visiting these places too! Click below on the name of the place in order to reach our corresponding articles:
    1. Lleida review
    2. Zaragoza review
    3. Calatayud review

By train

All trains are going via Madrid, so even if you go from Barcelona, be prepared to change the trains at Atocha station in Madrid. From Barcelona you can get within 2,5 hours to Madrid with a speed train, and from Madrid 1-1,5 hours to get to Segovia.

Use our below train searcher to find the best connection for you:

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Where to stay in Segovia

You would be surprised, but if you are looking for accommodations in Segovia, you will be able to find many options for a very reasonable price even in the city center. Our favorites are the following, feel free to use the link for our special discount prices as affiliate partners of Booking.com.

For more options, you can use our searcher:

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