Segovia, Castile And Leon, Spain
Castile and Leon, in northwestern Spain, mostly consists of a high plateau surrounded by mountains. This article focuses on Segovia and several small dream villages around.
World Heritage Sites
Castile and Leon is the region in the world with the most World Heritage Sites, 8 in total. To put into perspective, it has more than countries like Egypt, Chile or Costa Rica. Here a list of these sites, or why you should be considering to head there soon:
- Route of Santiago de Compostela.
- Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct.
- Burgos Cathedral.
- Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches.
- Old City of Salamanca.
- Las Medulas.
- Archaeological Site of Atapuerca.
- Prehistoric Rock Art in the Coa Valley and Siega Verde.
Its origin goes back to Celtiberian times. They were the first inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula, around the 6th Century BC. That’s even before the Romans got there! Actually, its name comes from Segobriga, an Iberian name that we could translate as the “Victorious City”.
Due to its position on trading routes, the city kept gaining importance. In fact, Romans, Arab-Berbers, and Carolingians occupied respectively the city. By walking the city nowadays, one can appreciate the influence of each one of those cultures. Such a beautiful sensation.
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Segovia Main Attractions
While there are many sights in Segovia, I really enjoyed the following ones:
- The Roman Aqueduct. One of the best preserved in the world. It is the symbol of the city and almost 2.000 years old!
- The Alcazar. It rises above the confluence of two rivers near the Guadarrama mountains. This fortress served as a royal palace and state prison.
- Real Casa de la Moneda. The former royal mint is nowadays a museum dedicated to coins and industrial heritage. Even though it doesn’t sound so appealing, trust me and go. The guides are so enthusiastic that you will end up loving the visit.
What To Visit Around
If you have the time, consider visiting some of the castles and medieval villages around Segovia. With your own transportation, you can easily visit several in one day:
To get started, Ayllon stands out for the civil architecture, churches, palaces. Don’t miss Plaza Mayor (the Main Square) and the Contreras Palace, in one of the village entrances. Art and nature meet at this beautiful medieval town.
Despite its only 12 inhabitants, El Muyo is probably the best example of the black villages. Don’t think of any terror story! They gave this name because of the use of slate in the construction of walls, roofs and street pavement.
Traditional country houses surrounding an elliptical Plaza Mayor make an extraordinary destination.
Learn about the Romanesque style by visiting the monuments and streets of Sepulveda. This village will transport you back to the 11th and 12th centuries.
It is similar to Sepulveda. Wandering around the walled medieval village of Pedraza I felt like one of the nobles living during the Middle Ages.
One of the best examples of the castles built in Castilla y León during the Medieval times. These fortresses set the border between the Christian and the Muslim world.
At last, another well-preserved castle. Admire the keep, a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages. It was used as a last refuge in case the rest of the castle fell to an adversary.
- Travel Guide: Lonely Planet Spain