Last weekend, in order to kick off my #Take12Trips challenge and explore more of Spain, we were up bright and early, and en route to the train station well before noon. We’d taken advantage of the current (and still on-going) Renfe sale and booked ourselves a trip on the Renfe AVE train. Traveling at 250km/hour through the countryside, it took us just 27 minutes to travel 93km north of Madrid to our destination of choice: Segovia.
It was a beautiful, but cold Saturday; one that we spent marvelling at the Aqueduct of Segovia, wandering through the old town, and admiring the breathtaking landscapes surrounding the city.
The most famous and defining historical feature of Segovia is the Aqueduct. Dating back to the late-1st or early-2nd century, the Aqueduct is acknowledged as the most important Roman civil engineering work in Spain (source), and after visiting the city it’s easy to see why.
The Aqueduct is the first thing you see upon entering the old city, and it’s hard not to marvel at it. Consisting of some 25,000 granite blocks, the Aqueduct stands 29 meters at its highest point and spans 818 meter throughout the city. Even more impressive is that the entire structure was built without mortar, which is absolutely mind-blowing when you consider the scale and age of it.
The construction of the Aqueduct is still a bit of a mystery and the stuff of legends. Because there is no legible inscription the exact date of construction cannot be determined. What we do know is it was constructed to transport water from the Rio Frio, located in nearby mountains, some 17km from the city (source), and it continued to supply Segovia with water until the mid-19th century.
But Segovia is much more than just an Aqueduct.
Segovia is a city in the Castile and Leon region of Spain, and the capital of the Segovia Province. It is currently home to more than 60,000 inhabitants, as well as two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (both the old city and the Aqueduct were declared World Heritage Sites in 1985).
Segovia is also home to the Segovia Cathedral, the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain, which is considered to be a masterpiece of Basque-Castilian Gothic architecture. Located in the main square, the cathedral was built between 1525 and 1577, and features a bell tower that reaches almost 90 meters and can be seen from almost any point in the city.
The town of Segovia is located on the plains of Old Castile, and offers absolutely amazing views of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range. Some of the best views of the mountains were at the Segovia Av train station, just 7km outside the city centre.
We hadn’t planned on cutting our afternoon in the city short, but when the local bus schedule forced us to go back early, we weren’t too upset given that we had the chance to take in the surrounding views.
The Sierra de Guadarrama is a mountain range forming the eastern section of the Sistema Central, which runs along the centre of the Iberian Peninsula (source). The range spans 80 km and runs from the Province of Ávila through Madrid to the Province of Segovia. It’s highest peak is Peñalara, which stands at 2,428 meters in elevation and can be seen from nearby Segovia.
Although our day in Segovia was short, we had an amazing time exploring the city, experiencing the culture, and marvelling at both the historical sites and surrounding vistas. It was a very quick and inexpensive trip from Madrid, and one I would highly recommend to anyone making a trip to the Spanish capital.
Please Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. All thoughts, feelings and opinions shared on this blog and in this post are my own.