Walls and Alcazar of Segovia

Segovia, Spain

Rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of two rivers near the Guadarrama mountains, the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain by virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship. The Alcázar was originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then. It is currently used as a museum and a military archives building.

The Alcázar, like many fortifications in Spain, started off as Roman fort, but apart from the foundations, little of the original structure remains. A Muslim era fort, which was itself largely replaced by the present structure, was built by the Berber Almoravid dynasty. The first reference to this particular "alcázar" was in 1120, around 32 years after the city of Segovia returned to Christian hands. It can be concluded that prior to Alfonso VIII's reign, the Muslim era structure was no more than a wooden fort built over the old Roman foundations. Alfonso VIII and his wife, Eleanor of England, made this alcázar their principal residence and much work was carried out to erect the beginnings of the stone fortification we see today.

The Alcázar of Segovia was one of the favorite residences of the monarchs of Castile in the Middle Ages, and a key fortress in the defence of the kingdom. It was during this period that most of the current building was constructed by the Trastámara dynasty.

In 1258, parts of the Alcázar had to be rebuilt by King Alfonso X after a cave-in and the Hall of Kings was built to house Parliament soon after. However, the single largest contributor to the continuing construction of the Alcázar is King John II who built the "New Tower" (John II tower as it is known today).

The next major renovation at the Alcázar was conducted by King Philip II after his marriage to Anna of Austria. He added the sharp slate spires to reflect the castles of central Europe. In 1587, architect Francisco de Morar completed the main garden and the School of Honor areas of the castle.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

AndIOop (7 months ago)
Really cute castle, resembling Disney one. Smaller than it seems. Only castle entry is 3.50€
Guillaume Ruegg (8 months ago)
Just amazing. You have to do the full visit of the castle it's a master piece.
Emilie Bisnaire (8 months ago)
Highly recommend! Please take the audio guide as there are no information panels which makes it hard to understand the functions of some of the rooms. I really loved this castle and you have a beautiful view from the top. However due to covid, some zones are accessible only at a specific time, we came at 5pm and had to wait until 7pm to go to the very top... they did not tell us at the moment we bought the tickets. In the end, we couldn't wait so long so we left without doing the very top part!
Jon Flynn (8 months ago)
Fairy tale type castle/palace. Most of it is from a later period but still with some fine wood ceilings and gold decoration. Gorgeous views. Wel worth a view.
Paul Saliba (8 months ago)
Fascinating place to visit, locals insist it was the inspiration behind Disney’s enchanted castle. Beautifully restored interior, with ornate ceilings, tapestries and a large armoury. Great views from the tower. Word of advice: once you visit the tower you are guided to the exit and expected to leave.
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