Visit SegoviaSegovia photo-tour
Courtesy of Google Maps.
The Segovia Mint, in red.
Segovia is Spain and Castile at its best - twisting alleyways, the highest concentration of Romanesque churches in all of Europe, pedestrian streets where no cars are allowed, the aroma of roast suckling pig around every corner - all surrounded by the city's medieval wall which itself is bordered by two rivers and an extensive green-belt park with miles of shaded walks. On the north-west extreme of the wall is the famous Alcázar castle, source of inspiration to Walt Disney, and where Queen Isabel promised Columbus the financial backing he needed to discover America. On the south-east extreme is the world renowned Roman Aqueduct, the largest and best preserved of its kind anywhere, which served as the mintmark on all coins struck in the city from 1455 to 1864. The tallest building in Segovia is still the 16th-century Cathedral, a prominent landmark as one approaches from any direction.
A city of great importance in Roman and medieval times, Segovia's population has remained relatively stable over the centuries and today hovers at around 50,000. Famous in the 15th-century for its wool production, today's activities are based on agriculture and tourism. The tourist sector was greatly assisted in 1985 when UNESCO declared Segovia "Heritage of Mankind". The future of Segovia is closely linked to the protection and promotion of the city's monumental complex, in which the Mint is given a unique distintion as the world's oldest, still standing, industrial manufacturing plant (1583).
Visiting all these attractions in Segovia is particularly easy due to the city's close proximity to Madrid and its international airport. The 54 mile drive is done in less than an hour via a twin-bore tunnel going under the Guadarrama Mountains, which totally and quite effectively separate this sleepy Castillan town from the over 3 million people in Spain's capital city. The mountains also provide a dramatic backdrop to Segovia's monumental skyline, particularly in winter and spring when covered with snow. The city's elevation of 3,280 ft. provides a refreshing atmosphere during the long summer evenings for enjoying the dozens of sidewalk cafes and terraces, especially on the streets and plazas where no cars are permitted. Buses leave Madrid for Segovia every half hour and trains every two hours, with round trip fares for under $10 US.
Here are some photographs and links which will give you an idea of some of the other historic monuments in Segovia, Spain, (pop. 53.237, elev. 3,280 ft.) whose entire monumental complex was declared Patrimony of Mankind by UNESCO in 1985.
Take a brief photo-tour, or choose from these sights to see:
Links to Segovia's daily newspapers: