….and so it begins, our journey to The Alcazar of Segovia
She sits upon the hilltop guarding over the town, her steady gaze upon us.
Rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of the rivers Eresma and Clamores near the Guadarrama mountains, it is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain by virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship.
The Alcázar was originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then.
The castle is one of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.
The Alcázar of Segovia, like many fortifications in Spain , started off as an Arab fort, which itself was built on a Roman fort but little of that structure remains.
The first reference to this particular Alcázar was in 1120, around 32 years after the city of Segovia returned to Christian hands in the days of Alfonso VI of León and Castile
Throughout the Middle Ages The Alcazar remained one of the favorite residences of the monarchs of the Kingdom of Castile and a key fortress in the defense of the kingdom.
It was during this period a majority of the current building was constructed and the palace was extended on a large scale by the monarchs of the Trastámara dynasty.
Below is a picture of The Throne Room…..
In 1258, parts of the Alcázar had to be rebuilt by King Alfonso X of Castile after a cave-in and soon after the Hall of Kings was built to house Parliament.
The Hall of Kings is a most majestic place and carvings of all the Kings adorn the walls and these ancient Monarchs look down upon the visitors of today…
However, the single largest contributor to the continuing construction of the Alcázar is King John II who built the ‘New Tower’ (John II tower as it is known today).
In 1474, the Alcázar played a major role in the rise of Queen Isabella I of Castile.
On 12 December news of the King Henry IV‘s death in Madrid reached Segovia and Isabella immediately took refuge within the walls of this Alcázar where she received the support of Andres Cabrera and Segovia’s council.
She was crowned the next day as Queen of Castile and León.
There is a very large painting of the Coronation that is just breathtaking…
The interior of the Castle of Segovia is in perfect accordance with the magnificence of its exterior. Many apartments are decorated with delicate traceries and pendant ornaments, in the style of the Alhambra
The Templar Iglesia Vera Cruz (Church of the True Cross) is the most interesting of several splendid Romanesque churches in Segovia and is visible from the windows of The Alcazar
The Church was consecrated in 1208 and built by the Knights Templar to house a fragment of the True Cross
Inside, the round nave centers on an unusual two-story gallery, where the Knights are thought to have kept vigil over the sliver of wood, as it rested on the altar below….
The Church is patterned on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where according to legend the True Cross was found by St. Helena in the 4th century.
Such enchantment and history surrounded by snow capped peaks……
Wandering about The Alcazar, one is swept into the history that took place within her walls….
The ancients gaze upon you as you pass from their frozen images in the stained glass…
A world of enchantment…..with the most amazing views…
- The Aqueduct of Segovia – Spain (the-tin-man.com)
- Alcazar de Segovia (aidanpapalia.wordpress.com)
- Time out to enjoy Segovia – Segovia, Spain (travelpod.com)
- Alcázar of Segovia (elementaryspanishclass.wordpress.com)
- Alcazar of Segovia (elementaryspanish2013.wordpress.com)
- 5 World Famous Sights in One Place: Spanish Segovia (victortravelblog.com)
- Segovia, Capital of Segovia Province (judihannan.wordpress.com)
- Semana Santa in Seductive Segovia Spain: Holy Week and Easter Traditions (vinoconvistablog.me)
I have spent so little time in Spain and hope to change that next year. The country holds considerable wonder for me, and I like seeing through your eyes.
Madrid makes a great central location to visit many of the outlying cities and towns. The train system in Spain is incredible.
I had heard of the Alcazar but you have brought the magic of this historical place to life. What amazing views! I especially like the view from the arched window.
And I hear that congratulations are in order for you and Augustine! I am so happy for you both – cheers!!!!!
Dearest Jo Nell, yes the Alcazar has the most magnificent views and provides a glimpse in to a very noble history. Thank you for your congratulatory wishes. We never expected to see this day.
It has been so long since I was in Segovia…thank you for reminding me of how interesting it is.
Thank you so much for joining us!
It was a treat seeing it through your eyes.
Dear Tin Man, What gorgeous photographs! I loved the Walt Disney Cinderella Castle tidbit. Interesting! The views ARE amazing. Incredible. My pick: the view of Templar Iglesia Vera Cruz from the Alcazar, along with Queen Isabella’s dress, of course. T. (AND YES! YES! YES! What lovely and exciting, lovely news!! Big hugs!!)
Theadora, so marvelous to have you come to visit! I so enjoy your company. Wasn’t Isabella’s dress over the top marvelous, but if one is going to be crowned Queen, I guess one does get to wear something divine! Thank you for the well wishes!
WOWZERS!! What an incredibly beautiful and enchanting place 🙂
It is quite the magical place. So grand and elegant.
WOW! Great Pictures! Great Post!
Thank you so much for visiting with me. I am so glad you enjoyed the Alcazar!
When the world makes me weary I close my eyes and escape to some wonderful place. Sometimes is the lake of my childhood. Other times I walk the silver dusty streets of Paris. Now I am escaping to My Palace in Spain. Alcazar of Segovia. A place of gilded grandeur. Every window giving me a breath-taking view. And the paintings – oh the paintings I have escaped into. What a glorious sense of place you have shared with us. XX V.
Virginia, to have you, Theadora and Jo Nell with us in the Hall of Kings with Chamber Music playing………us dressed in period formal attire, receiving the peasants from the village……oh it is cake they shall have!!!! The Alcazar is a magical place.
Pingback: Madrid – Spain | Tales and Travels of the Tinman
Pingback: Semana Santa in Seductive Segovia Spain: Holy Week and Easter Traditions | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events