Segovia (Spain) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Segovia with descriptions, travel guides and maps.
City of Segovia (Spain)
Segovia is a city in Central Spain in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon. It is located on a rocky base between the Eresma and Clamores rivers, 90 km northwest of Madrid. Segovia is a romantic, beautiful and ancient city whose historic center is surrounded by a wall and has preserved amazing sights and cultural monuments. An ancient Roman aqueduct (UNESCO World Heritage Site), a fabulous castle, an impressive cathedral, exquisite Romanesque churches and mystical monasteries testify to a rich cultural and historical heritage. Segovia is one of the best day-trip destinations from Madrid and certainly one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and definitely worth a visit.
What to do (Segovia):
€130 per excursion
Segovia, capital of the Kings of Castile
Ancient Spanish fairy tales and historical stories on a sightseeing tour of Segovia
Geography and climate
Segovia is located at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains in the highlands in the valley of the Eresma and Clamores rivers. The climate is transitional between Mediterranean and Mediterranean oceanic. Summers are hot and dry and winters are cool with light frosts.
Panorama of Segovia
- Population – 51.8 thousand people.
- Area – 163.59 square kilometers.
- Language: Spanish.
- Currency – the euro.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit: April-June and September-October.
Segovia was founded by the Romans in 80 BC. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the territory belonged to the Visigoths. From the 8th to the 11th centuries, Segovia was ruled by the Moors. The city is thought to have been abandoned when the Arab invasion of the Pyrenees began.
Winter in Segovia
In 1085 Segovia was conquered by King Alfonso VI of Castile, who moved his residence here. In 1474 Isabella I was crowned here. In 1475 the agreement between Fernando of Aragon and Isabella of Castile was signed in Segovia, which is an important historical event for the whole of Spain.
The end of the Middle Ages is the time of the city’s heyday. The textile industry developed here and magnificent churches, monasteries and castles were built. The economic prosperity lasted until the end of the 16th century, to be followed by a severe recession. By the 17th century the population of Segovia had shrunk by a factor of three.
How to get there
The nearest major airport is located in Madrid. Segovia has regular bus and rail connections to the Spanish capital, Salamanca, Avila and Valladolid.
Segovia offers typical Castilian cuisine: Cochinillo (roast pig), Iberian sausages, Judiones (bean stew), beef steaks, salads of seasonal vegetables. Many cafes serve tapas.
In the old town of Segovia there are sights of Antiquity, the period of the Moors and Castile.
The Roman Aqueduct is a symbol of Segovia, a monumental ancient structure that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in the 1950s A.D. during the reign of the Flavians. This ancient engineering structure has stood the test of time admirably and is preserved in perfect condition. Its construction consists of over 20,000 granite blocks and 167 arches. The Aqueduct is one of the largest existing Roman structures in Spain and was built to supply water from the Acebeda River to the ancient city.
The Alcázar is one of Segovia’s most beautiful and famous landmarks, a majestic medieval fortress on a steep cliff. Some people think it resembles the castle in Disneyland. It was originally a military fortress. The current castle was built in the 12th century and served as a residence for Alfonso VIII and other Kings of Castile. The castle was expanded in the Gothic style in the 13th century. The last remodeling dates back to the 16th century. The entrance to the castle is at the Torre de Juan II, a 14th century tower surrounded by ten semicircular towers. The ascent to the Tower of John II will reward you with stunning panoramas of Segovia.
The walls of Segovia
The old town of Segovia is surrounded by strong medieval walls. These fortifications were built in the 11th and 12th centuries of limestone. The crenellated walls include towers and several entrance gates. The oldest gates are San Andrés, San Cebrián and Santiago. Some of the walls are accessible to the public.
Like many old Castilian cities, Segovia had a fairly large Jewish community. The old Jewish quarter is located in the Plaza de la Merced and has a unique medieval atmosphere. Here you can see fragments of an ancient synagogue, visit the Museum of Fine Arts and stroll through the maze of ancient streets.
The Royal Mint is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Spain. It was founded in the 16th century by Philip II and designed by Juan de Herrera. It now houses a museum.
Casa de los Picos (House of the Pic)
The Casa de los Picos is a 15th century aristocratic mansion with an unusual facade. It now houses an art school and an exhibition hall.
Royal Palace in San Ildefonso
The Royal Palace in San Ildefonso can be called the Spanish Versailles. It was built in the 18th century by Philip V as a royal residence. The palace is a fine example of French Baroque. Visitors can see the throne room and sumptuous halls, magnificent Flemish, French and Spanish tapestries, the church with the marble tomb of Philip V. The royal palace is located in the town of San Ildefonso, 10 km from Segovia.
The cathedral is a majestic late Gothic church located at the highest point of Segovia. The cathedral was built in the 16th century and is considered the last religious structure in the Gothic style in Spain. The building was built of yellow stone and has magnificent architecture, a beautiful façade, bright stained glass windows and a rich interior. The architecture is especially notable for its tall 100-meter tower. Beautiful sculptures, works of art and altars adorn the many chapels of the cathedral, which are covered with bars. The main altar is made of marble, jasper and bronze. The cathedral also has an archive with over 500 antique books. The Cathedral of Segovia is located in the Plaza Mayor, in the heart of the old city. This area is a maze of winding medieval streets that are also worth exploring.
Church of San Martin
San Martin is a beautiful ancient 12th century church that is an example of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It contains a Gothic chapel with the tombs of the Herrera family. The church is located in the picturesque little square of San Martin with a fountain decorated with sculptures of two mermaids. In a house with four arched galleries, Juan Bravo, one of the leaders of the Comuneros (rebellion of the Castilian cities), was born.
The Vera Cruz is a magnificent Romanesque church on a small road outside the historic center of Segovia. It was founded by the Knights Templar in the 13th century. The church has an austere and simple interior, a mystical atmosphere and mudejar-style vaults.
The Parral is a 15th-century monastery located among the picturesque hills outside the old town. It was founded by Henry IV and combines Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. The main chapel of the monastery is Gothic. The tower is topped with Renaissance ornaments. Around the main altar are elaborate alabaster sculptures.
San Esteban is Segovia’s most famous Romanesque church with a tall tower of six arched segments and a spire. It is located in the old town north of the Plaza Mayor.
San Milian is a typical 12th century Romanesque church with three naves and three apses. It is located outside the historical center of Segovia in the old Moorish quarter. The interior features exquisite mudejar artwork, horseshoe arches and an interesting 14th-century Gothic crucifix.
San Juan de los Caballeros
San Juan de los Caballeros is an 11th-century Romanesque church that was once the burial place of Segovia’s leading families. It now houses the museum of the Zuloaga artists (Ignacio and Daniel).
The church of San Giusto is a gem of Romanesque architecture with a powerful square tower. It was built in the 13th century and was an important stop on the medieval pilgrimage trail of St. James to Santiago de Compostela.
San Clemente is an exquisite 13th-century Romanesque church located outside the ancient walls of Segovia. The interior has an interesting apse with blind arches and beautiful ancient frescoes.
€150 per excursion
Malaga Roman, Moorish, Catholic
See the symbols of the city and get to know the local cuisine on a historical and gastronomic walk
Eco-tour in the Catalan Mountains
Walking along the Montseni mountain range to the waterfalls and the 11th-century Aygwafred de Dalt church
The best sights of Segovia with photos and descriptions
Segovia is a small but very ancient and fascinating city in Spain, which has managed to preserve a lot of amazing sights. To visit this place, especially after sunset, is like stepping into a medieval fairy tale. If you come here with an open heart, you will long remember the beauty of charming Segovia.
In this text, we will tell you about the best sights of Segovia with their photos and descriptions, and hopefully, all your doubts about whether to waste your time in this city will quickly dissipate.
Segovia is an ancient city founded in the 1st century B.C. Its architecture is steeped in mystery and antiquity. The city has so many ancient architectural landmarks that much of Old Segovia is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Aqueduct Monument
One of the oldest and most outstanding monuments of architecture is the Segovia Aqueduct. It is one of the largest Roman aqueducts in the world that is well preserved to this day. Its height reaches 28 meters and its length is 728 meters. It is a very beautiful structure, whose high arches from afar resemble a lace canvas. The aqueduct is made of 25 thousand granite stones, which are glued using a special ancient method without using any cement mortar.
Did you know? This sight is shrouded in strange legends. The locals say that the devil took part in building the aqueduct, and in exchange he took the soul of a girl who was tired of carrying water. This explains the small indentations in some places of the structure – they are said to be the devil’s fingerprints.
You can easily find this architectural masterpiece at Plaza del Azoguejo, 1.
The Alcázar Castle
The Alcázar Castle in Segovia is another important landmark in Spain. It is located at Plaza Reina Victoria Eugenia, overlooking the city on top of a cliff. The castle was built according to various sources (scientists still cannot “agree” on the date) between the XII and the XVI century as a fortress, but later it was used for a variety of purposes. At various times it served as a royal residence, coronation place for Spanish rulers, a city jail and even an artillery academy and an officer’s college.
Unfortunately, much of the castle was damaged by a fire in 1862, so now we are only able to observe its restored copy. But that doesn’t make the castle any less beautiful or majestic.
It is one of the most outstanding castles in Spain. The interior and exterior of the castle cannot fail to be fascinating in its royal luxury. You can see the ancient tapestries and stained-glass windows, knight’s armor and ceilings elaborately decorated with gold. Now there is a museum on the territory of the castle. The most interesting halls are the Throne Room and the Armory, as well as a small chapel. And from the castle tower offers an amazing view of Segovia, the green hills and the majestic mountain range.
There is also a small and pleasant garden where you can take a walk in silence and enjoy the medieval atmosphere of the surroundings.
Other architectural attractions in Segovia:
- Lozoya Tower (Calle de José Canalejas, 3);
- House of the Peak (Travesía de la Rubia, 4);
- House of Chains (Calle de los Gascos, 13);
- Madrid Gate (Calle de José Zorrilla, 118);
- City Hall (Plaza Mayor, 10);
- Marquis del Arco Palace (Camino de la Cuesta de los Hoyos);
- Bread Market (Calle de San Millán, 1-7);
- Plaza de la Tierra (Calle de Juan Segovia);
- Palace of the Counts of Mansilla (Travesía del Malconsejo, 6).
Religious buildings of Segovia
There are also many ancient churches and temples in Segovia. Most of them are located in the old part of the city. The most famous building is the Cathedral of St. Mary. Construction began in 1525 and lasted more than two hundred years, resulting in a very interesting and rich temple. The cathedral looks majestic and beautiful, it is stunning in its size. The height of the cathedral bell tower reaches 90 m, the length of the central nave – 105 m, and the height of the Gothic vaults is 33 m! There are 18 marvelous chapels on the territory of the cathedral each of which is beautiful and interesting in its own way.
Here you can see beautiful stained-glass windows, made by talented artists from France and Spain, the sculpture of “The Lying Christ”, a beautiful, richly decorated, marble altar, a rare collection of Brussels trellises. There is also a museum in the cathedral with antique jewelry, carpets, clothing, paintings and books.
Other famous churches and monasteries in Segovia:
- Church of Vera Cruz (Ctra. de Zamarramia);
- Church of San Esteban (Plaza de San Esteban, 1-3);
- Church of San Andrés (Plaza de la Merced, 2);
- El Parral Monastery (Calle del Parral);
- Monastery of Santa Cruz la Real (Calle del Cardenal Zúñiga, 8-10);
- Church of San Clemente (Calle del Obispo Gandasegui, 3);
- Church of Santa Eulalia (Calle de José Zorrilla, 109).
For a comprehensive introduction to Segovia we suggest visiting the Municipal Museum (formerly the Art Museum of Segovia). It is located in the Casa del Sol (House of the Sun) and is divided into 6 exhibition halls surrounding an inner courtyard. In the museum you can learn about the geology of the area and its landscapes, its history and art. There is also a collection of coins, beautiful glassware and sculptures of a religious character. You can see the works of famous artists Dürer and Rembrandt, as well as modern masters of painting. There are about 1,500 valuable exhibits in the museum.
Also in Segovia you can visit:
- Museum at the Academy of Artillery (Calle de San Francisco, 25);
- Suloaga Museum (Plazuela de Colmenares, 4-6);
- Alcázar Castle Museum;
- Museum of the Cathedral .
Gardens of Segovia
The Gardens of La Merced in Segovia are considered one of the most beautiful places of the city. Spreading widely behind the city wall, it attracts you with the beauty of nature and a pleasant coolness. Here you can relax strolling along its paths and enjoying the fresh air while waiting out the heat of the day. Another favorite among tourists is the Alcázar Gardens. It is also a great place for walks.
The garden was laid out back in 1816, but a fire in 1862 killed all the plants and it had to be planted again. Little has changed since then. This magnificent garden with orange trees will delight you not only with its coolness, but also with its amazing aromas.
What to see in Segovia in 1 day?
Segovia is a great place to travel for 1 day. After all, this town is small, and all the attractions are arranged quite compactly. For example, if you are traveling to Madrid and you happen to have free time, you can devote one day to get to know this delightful ancient city – you won’t regret your choice.
- Many tourists decide to begin their acquaintance with the city from the Roman aqueduct. If you want, you can climb to its upper level and admire the panorama of the city.
- Then we suggest a walk through the old town and come to the Cathedral. If you wish you can visit the museum of the cathedral.
- After seeing the cathedral you can move on to another famous sight in Segovia: the Alcázar castle. Inside there is a very interesting museum.
- Be sure to climb the Alcázar tower and admire the beautiful scenery.
- Then take a break in the shade of the Alcázar garden.
- Then visit the church of La Vera Cruz nearby.
- Then you can walk through the Jewish Quarter and come back to the Aqueduct. There are many restaurants where you can taste the Castilian specialty, the “suckling pig”.
- Then you can stroll through La Merced Garden and enjoy the evening medieval streets.
Important: If you decide to go to Segovia for several days, be sure to book a hotel in advance. Due to the small size of the city all hotel rooms are booked many days in advance.
A City Guide – Segovia (video)
In this video you will see the most important attractions of the city of Segovia. Enjoy watching!
Where to go in Segovia with a child?
- You can take your kids up to the 1st and 2nd levels of the famous Roman Aqueduct and see the view of the city .
- In the square in front of the Aqueduct there is a wonderful children’s carousel .
- Alcazar Castle is interesting to most children. Here they can imagine themselves as medieval knights and princesses. And if you climb the tower of Juan II, you will see an amazing landscape.
Did you know? According to one of the versions, it was the castle of Alcázar in Segovia that became the “inspiration” for the Disney castle from “Cinderella”.
Those who have already been to Segovia and got acquainted with its famous sights can complete our story with their comments, photos and descriptions of the most liked places. For those who are about to embark on a journey we wish you a pleasant stay in this fantastic medieval city!