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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrSegovia Castle, better known as the ‘Alcázar of Segovia’, is a castle in the city of Segovia, Spain. Originally built as a fortress, it was later used as a royal palace and a military academy, and is one of the most famous castles in Spain due to its distinctive architecture. It is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to Madrid who wish to take a day trip to explore nearby cities.
HistoryOriginally, the Alcázar of Segovia was an Arab fortress constructed atop the remains of a Roman fort. The first written records of the fortress date back to the early 12th century, soon after the city was reconquered by King Alfonso VI of León and Castile . It was then transformed into a royal palace where King Alfonso VIII of Castile resided with his wife in the late 12th century, at which point it became one of the most important fortresses used to defend the Kingdom of Castile and a popular royal residence of its monarchs, including Queen Isabella I of Castile. Eventually, the royal court was moved to Madrid, and the Alcázar was then used as a prison and a military academy.
Things to SeeThe Alcázar is full of fascinating things to see and explore, including beautiful rooms that were used for important historic events, impressive architecture, and fascinating artifacts.
Sala de AjimecesAlso known as the ‘Sala del Palacio Viejo’, this original palace room is named for its gorgeous, Romanesque, mullioned windows.
Sala de la ChimeneaThe “Fireplace Room” is known for its furniture, which dates back to the 16th century.
Sala del SolioAlso known as the ‘Sala del Trono’, the “Throne Room” features two thrones used by King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg , which are located beneath the historic coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs, as well as striking portraits of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.
Sala de la GaleraThe “Galley Room” is known for its impressive ceiling which resembles the upside-down hull of a ship. It is one of the most beautiful aspects of the entire castle.
Cámara RegiaThis royal bedroom holds a beautiful bed carved from walnut, and features the coat of arms of Castille and León during the reign of Henry IV of Castile. The room is also known for the unique tapestries that hang on its walls known as ‘sargas’, which depict scenes from the royal court of the Catholic Monarchs.
Torre de Juan IIThe castle’s most striking feature is the tower of King John II of Castile, which provides breathtaking views of the city of Segovia, its stunning cathedral, and the surrounding areas from its large panoramic terrace. Visitors are permitted to climb its spiral staircase with over 150 stairs for an additional € €2 ($2.30), which is well worth the price and the effort.
TriviaThe Alcázar is one of several castles that inspired the creation of the world-famous Cinderella Castle found in various Walt Disney theme parks. Other inspirations include the Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau in France and Neuschwanstein in Germany.
Practical InformationSegovia is a popular city to explore on a day trip while you’re visiting Madrid, especially to see the Alcázar. Due to the city’s popularity, there are several ways to reach Segovia using public transportation.
Address: Plaza Reina Victoria Eugenia, s/n, 40003 Segovia, Spain
By BusMost visitors to Segovia choose to travel there from Madrid by bus, as it is often cheaper and easier than travelling by train. On most days, there are one to two bus services per hour which leave from Madrid’s Moncloa bus terminal, which is accessible from the Moncloa stop on the Madrid Metro system (lines 3 and 6). Segovia’s bus station is located near its famous aqueduct on Paseo Ezequiel González.
By TrainYou can also reach Segovia using Line C-8b of Cercanías, Madrid’s commuter rail service. Trains can be caught from a number of stations throughout Madrid, including large stations such as Atocha, Nuevos Ministerios, and Chamartín. From Segovia’s train station, you can take a short local bus ride to the city center. If you prefer to travel in style, you can instead pay a higher price for the AVE high-speed train from Madrid to Segovia-Guiomar station and then use their bus link into the city center.
Hours: The Alcázar is open daily from 10:00AM and closes at 18:00PM between October and March, and at 19:00PM from April through September.
Price: Admission costs approximately € €5 ($5.75) for adults and € €3 ($3.45) for seniors. If you’re a citizen of the European Union, you can also visit for free any Tuesday between 14:00PM and 16:00PM.
Nearby AttractionsIf you’re driving to Segovia, consider visiting other local attractions such as the city’s impressive Roman aqueduct and Segovia Cathedral, as well as nearby sites like El Escorial and the Valle de los Caídos monument.
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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Mar 24, 2015