Segovia forms part of the Autonomous Community, or administrative region, of Castile & León. Its capital, at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range, where the Eresma and Clamores rivers meet, was traversed by groups of Neanderthals, though the Celtiberians were the first to settle there.
From its subsequent settlement by the Romans, today we can take in the stunning sight of the Aqueduct, their most remarkable work of civil engineering on the Iberian Peninsula.
In Visigoth times Segovia was the episcopal see of the Diocese of Toledo. Following the Islamic invasion, the city was largely abandoned.
This situation changed with the Reconquest, led by Alfonso VI, who promoted its repopulation with Christians from the north of the Peninsula.
Alvar Fáñez, a loyal commander under El Cid, would be one of its governors.
Segovia then began a period of splendour as a centre of a thriving wool trade and textile production.
El Alcázar, its castle-fortress, would be a residence of the kings of the House of Trastámara, and here Isabella the Catholic would be proclaimed Queen of Castile. It houses an important Jewish aljama, or synagogue.
Abraham Seneor would be administrator of the Royal Treasury and the last Chief Rabbi of Castile.
Segovia played a key role in the uprising against King Charles I, backed by insurgent Juan Bravo.
Strolling through Segovia today, one can enjoy the sight of exceptional Romanesque buildings featuring mudéjar influences;
and Gothic religious architecture; the Cathedral, known as the Lady of the Cathedrals, stands out;
civil architecture, with El Alcázar;
and the houses of Renaissance-era nobility, such as the Casa de los Picos, or Diamond-Tipped House,
the tower known as the Torreón de Lozoya,
the Palace of the Marquises of Quintanar,
and the Palace of the Marquis of Arco.
There is also the plastering of the facades, called Segovian sgraffito, as at the Palace of Cascales.
Nearby is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fuencisla, Segovia’s patron saint.
the Monastery of St. John of the Cross, where he is buried,
the church of the True Cross,
the Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral
and the Mint.
Segovia today is a centre of culture, welcoming thousands of students each year to its university campuses, and inviting outstanding intellectuals to reflect there.
Near the city is the Royal Site of La Granja de San Ildefonso.
the Royal Palace of Riofrio;
the medieval towns of Pedraza,
and important castles, such as the one at Coca
Also noteworthy are its unique nature areas such as the Duratón and Riaza river gorges.
And the pine forest of Valsaín.
Segovian cuisine is unique, with La Granja kidney beans,
roast suckling pig and lamb,
Segovian ponche, a cake;
and the wines of Ribera de Duero and Rueda.