A DAY IN SEGOVIA, SPAIN

Segovia is better known for its magnificent Aquaducto and the city and the Aquaducto were declared a Unesco World Heritage in the mid 1980‘s. 

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This marvel of ancient engineering work was built by the Romans around the 1st century A.D. The Aquaducto has a span of 15 km and was constructed to transport water into the city from a river from the mountain about 17 km away.

The Aqueducto reaches its highest point at 93 ft. and is simply a magnificent piece of ancient architecture.

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Among the ancient treasures of Segovia is the CATEDRAL DES DE SAN MIGUEL that sits at the center of the Plaza de Mayor. It is the same church where Isabel was crowned queen of Castille. This cathedral is symbolic of Spain‘s position as one of the strong bastion of Catholicism in the ancient times. 

CATEDRAL DE SEGOVIA - PLAZA MAYOR

The interior of this Gothic church is of white walls and stone vaulting. The original cathedral was built near the alcazar and was transferred to its present location.

The impressive bell tower reaches a height of about 90 meters.

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The church boasts of stone ribbed vaultings.

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There are numerous chapels and altars inside the church in honor of saints and previous priests and bishops.

THE VAULTED CEILING OF THE CATEDRAL DE SEGOVIA

 

 

The church has numerous altars and chapels housing icons and statues honoring saints and of persons of religious importance of the ancient times.

 

 

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The above statue is one of the Famous saints from Avila, Santa Teresa De Avila, considered a prominent mystic of the Roman Catholic religious pantheons. She is regarded as the patron saint of Spain.

One of the most impressive religious art work in the cathedral is a colorful stained glass window called the Vitraux of Virgin Mary which must have consisted of several hundred pieces of stained glass to form the art work.

VITREAUX OF VIRGIN MARY

One interesting piece of ancient art a baptisimal font that must have been carved painstakingly to depict religious figures. As it is housed in the Capilla De La Piedad De Conception. As all the chapels, including the Capilla De La Piedad De Conception, are protected from public incursions with the installation of ornamental bars, the baptisimal font can easily be missed.

BAPTISIMAL FONT OF THE CAPILLA DE LA PIEDAD DE CONCEPTION - CATEDRAL DE SEGOVIA

Another ancient building of note is the Iglesia De San Martin sitting along Calle de Juan Bravo. It is a simple and more humble in appearance but it was built during the middle ages, around the 12th century. The original architectural style is considered Romanesque with Mozarabic influence which is an Arabized style that was adopted by Iberian Christians during the middle ages.

Another gem in Segovia is the beautiful Iglesia De San Martin. It is a simple and more humble in appearance but it was built during the middle ages around the 12th century. Located at Plaza Medina Del Campo, the original architectural style is considered Romanesque with Mozarabic influence which is an Arabized style that was adopted by Iberian Christians during the middle ages.IMG_0204

The colonnade of the church features fourteen columns altogether.

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SIDE OF ST MARTIN

The image above is a section of the of the Iglesia De San Martin that reflects a Romanesque architectural influence.

And below is the Belfry of the Iglesia De San Martin built in the Mudejar style, which in essence is part Gothic and part Islamic that was in prevalent use in the medieval Spain.

MUDEJAR BELFRY OF THE IGLESIA DE SAN MARTIN

I found myself inside the church, but a mass service was just beginning. I held back from taking pictures wishing not to be disrespectful of those in attendance.

As I wandered around, I came across a stone sculpture, the Los Leones Fountain on Plaza De San Martin. The top section of the sculpture features two young children with their arms wrapped around a big fish.

LA FUENTE DE LOS LEONES - PLAZA SAN MARTIN

Below is a Statue of Juan Bravo located at the Plaza De San Martin. He was a resident of Segovia who became the rebel leader of the Revolt of the Comuneros, an uprising of the citizens of Spain that took place in 1520 to 1521 against Spanish authorities.

MONUMENTO DE JUAN BRAVO - PLAZA SAN MARTIN

My wandering around the small city led me to the Plaza Mayor. The Plaza is the convergence point of most of the streets of the city. The plaza is lined with several establishments such as coffee shops, Jewelry stores and stores that display wares to tempt tourists and the like to bring home to their respective countries as a memento of their visit to the beautiful city of Segovia.

As the day advanced, the desire for lunch by the body became insistent. I was intrigued by the description of what is claimed to be a national food of the area called Cochinillo asado en horno de leña. Sadly the acclaimed gastronomic pride of the area did not meet my expectations.

COCHINILLO DE SEGOVIA - 3 EURO - RESTORANTE EL BERNARDINO

As I wend my way back to my starting point, I was fascinated by the narrowness of the streets of the city, which tells me that the ancients had not presaged the birth of the automobile in the 19th century.

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Midway to my starting point is a symbol that is known to those who have traveled the Camino de Santiago – the scallop shell.

SCALLOP SHELL SYMBOL OF THE CAMINO SANTIAGO

The Camino de Santiago, or the Way of Saint James, is a pilgrimge route that has several starting points in Spain, France and Portugal. The Camino ends on the seashores of Galicia where the Cathedral of St. James the Apostle is found and is believed to house the remains of St. James. The scallop shell carved in the stone reveals that the City of Segovia is one of the major stops of ancient and present day pilgrims as they trek towards Galicia.

As I finally reached my starting point, the beauty of Alcazar de Segovia is revealed from below the city. Of Moorish origin, the word Alcazar roughly translates as Fortress or Castle or citadel. This imposing structure is considered unique because of its shape, that of the bow of a ship. The castle had been used differently over time, either as a fortress, a royal residence, a prison, etc.but presently serves as a museum.

It is then time to take the nearly two hour bus ride back to Madrid where I was deposited infront of the Plaza Del Toros which was awashed with awashed with spectators of one of the most popular entertainment in Spain, the slaying of bulls.

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According to one of the spectators, the arena was capacity full because the featured matador was Jose Mari Manzanares, Jr. who is considered the top Matador to the present time. Manzanares also owns his popularity from his movie star good looks.

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