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A provincial city north of Madrid, Segovia has more than its fair share of history and attractions to entice a visitor from the capital. It is home to the most important Roman structure in Iberia, the still-complete aqueduct which provided water to the city for around 1800 years. The Alcázar is also an outstanding piece of architecture, not to mention the cathedral as well.

Segovia is an easy day trip from Madrid, when I went in 2002 it cost around five pounds for the ninety-minute journey on the bus. Having visited Toledo the previous day I found that Segovia was perhaps slightly more picturesque, but it was a close call between the two.

Alcázar de Segovia

Segovia's Alcázar is built on a small corner of rock on the edge of the cliff which most of the town sits on top of. It is said to be the inspiration for the Cinderella Castle at Disneyland, but that honour is also claimed by Craigievar Castle in Scotland and Neuschwanstein in Germany, so there's a bit of dispute about it. Nonetheless it was well worth the walk down the side of the cliff out the town to see the Alcázar from its best side.

In stark contrast to the greenery surrounding the Alcázar at close quarters, the view from its windows is of the dry Castillian desert.

Desert windows

Aqueduct of Segovia

The Roman Aqueduct was just as good as I had hoped it would be; two tiers, about half a mile long and thirty metres high where the ground is lowest. It has been dated to around the first century AD, and was built very cleverly and effectively without any mortar,except of course, in the water channel.

Detail of the aqueduct, where you can clearly see that it is nothing more than blocks carefully arranged, with no cement or binding agent other than gravity.

Aqueduct detail

Aqueduct street view

The slender structure of the aqueduct as seen at the end of the main street separating the old city on the left, from the new city on the right.

One of Segovia's shopping streets in the old city, looking towards the cathedral.

Shopping street in Segovia

Segovia Cathedral

Segovia's cathedral was an impressive sight to see, but it was one of those occasions where the light just never seemed to hit it in the way I wanted, as the clouds scudded by.

Another shot of the cathedral, artisticly taken from behind a stone window frame.

Segovia Cathedral

View from Segovia old city

Segovia sits on a high plain in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula, and is consequently relatively cool all year round. During my visit in October 2002, the first dusting of snow had landed on the nearby mountains.

I liked the aqueduct so much that I had to put in another picture of it, just for good measure. Here I tried to line up the top line of the structure with the top of the picture frame. You can see a couple of church towers through the arches.

Slopey Roman aqueduct

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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2002-2015