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Segovia is a city in Spainmarker, the capital of the province of Segoviamarker in Castile and Leonmarker. It is situated north of Madridmarker, and can be reached by bullet train in 35 minutes from Madrid at . 55,586 people live in the municipality of Segovia.

Name

Segovia is a Celtic name. Under Roman and Moorish rule, the city was called Segovia ( , Ptolemy ii. 6. § 56) and Šiqūbiyyah (Arabic شقوبية) respectively. This Celtic name probably means "fortress" or "castle".

Sights

The old city is spectacularly situated atop a long, narrow promontory. It contains a wealth of monuments, including the cathedral, a famous ancient Roman aqueductmarker, the Alcázarmarker, and various churches built in the Romanesque style including San Esteban, San Martín, and San Millán. The old city is a UNESCOmarker World Heritage Site, and is surrounded by walls built in the 8th century AD, probably on a Roman base, and rebuilt extensively during the 21st century.

Climate and vegetation

The climate is continental Mediterranean, cold and dry, resulting from high altitude, its proximity to the central system and their distance from the coast. The average annual temperature is 12º C, with a minimum in December of -14º C and a maximum in July of 34º C. The annual precipitation is 520 mm. The predominant vegetation is black pine, stone pine, Scotch pine, oak, beech, broom and juniper, oak, with landscapes of wheat, stubble and fallowing.

Aqueduct

The Aqueduct of Segoviamarker, typically the most recognized and famous symbol of Segovia, terminates at the entrance of the historic section. It was built at the end of 1st to early 2nd century AD by the Romans during their occupation of the Iberian Peninsulamarker to bring water from the Río Frío (Cold River), about 18 km away, to the city, requiring an elevated section in its last 1 kilometer (0.6 mi) from the Sierra de Guadarrama to the walls of the old town. This elevated section, largely dominating the nearby scene, is supported by an engineering marvel of 166 arches and 120 pillars in two levels. It is made of 20,400 large, rough-hewn granite blocks, joined without mortar or clamps. Its maximum height of 28.1 m (100.53 ft) is found at the plaza of Azoguejo. A raised section of stonework in the center once had an inscription. Today only the holes for the bronze letters survive.

Alcazar Castle

The Alcázarmarker, or castle-palace is perched at the tip of the promontory and towers over the countryside below. Like many fortifications in Spain, it started off as an Arab fort. At the end of the 11th century it was conquered by king Alfonso VI. During the Middle Ages, the Alcazar of Segovia was the favourite residence of kings of Castile, and almost each king added new parts to the building, transforming the original fortress into a courtier residence and prolonging the construction of the castle till 16th century, when King Philip II added the conical spires and the slate roofs. A fire in 1862 destroyed part of the roofs, but they were restored in the very same style they were built more than 300 years ago.

Cathedral

The Cathedral of Segovia stands in the city's central plaza. Constructed by architect Juan Gil de Hontañon in the late Gothic style between 1522 and 1577, it is widely considered Europe's last . The kind of is called Isabelino.


Church of Vera Cruz

The church of Vera Cruz, beyond the Alcázar and the city walls was founded by the Knights Templar. It is built in the circular style, a common design of the Templars, in recognition of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is currently owned and maintained by the Knights of Malta.

Owing to these famous monuments, Segovia is a very popular tourist destination, especially as a day-trip from Madrid.

Jewish heritage

Segovia had a thriving Jewish community until its forced expulsion during the 15th century (after the Christians reconquered Spain and put an end to Muslim rule). Some traces of Segovia's Jewish community still remain, such as the old quarter (Judería), a museum and the old main synagogue.

Demography

San Millán Church, built between 1111 and 1124.


Twin Cities



Famous Segovians



External links



General view of the Monastery of El Parral, founded in 1447.


Gallery

File:SegIglTrinidad_27.8.2002.jpg|Santísima Trinidad Church (12th century).File:SegoviaSMartin2 21-4-03.JPG|San Martín Church
(11th century).
File:SegoviaSMartin3 22.8.2002.jpg|Interior courtyard of the San Martín Church.File:Casa de los Picos de Segovia.jpg|La Casa de los Picos
(15th century).
File:Segovia Vera Cruz.jpg|La Vera Cruz Church, built in the year 1208.File:IGLESIA COMPAÑIA FACHADA ALZADO.jpg|Facade of the Compañía de Jesús Church, was built in 1577 by the italian architect Giuseppe Valeriano.File:colegio seminario.JPG|Cloister of Colegio del Seminario, built by Juan de Mugaguren.File:SegoviaSEstebán2 22.4.2003.jpg|San Esteban Church
(13th century).
File:SegoviaPSAndrés2 26.8.2002.jpg|Puerta de San Andrés.File:SegIglSJusto 26.8.2002.jpg|San Justo Church.File:Segovia San Clemente JMM.JPG|San Clemente Church.File:SegoviaACárcel 21.4.2003.jpg|Former Real Prison
(15th century).
File:SegTorLozoya 20.8.2002.jpg|Torreón de los Lozoya
(14th century).
File:Segovia - Meson de Candido 1.jpg|'Mesón de Cándido', an old restaurant of the city.File:Jardin Alcazar Segovia.jpg|View of the Gardens of Alcázar.File:Segovia c1840.jpg|Segovia circa 1840. Bibliographic Institute Hildburghausen.




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