It is in the autonomous region of Castile and Leon, Spain, and is the capitol of Segovia Province. Believe it or not, Segovia was first recorded as a Celtic possession which eventually transferred into the hands of the Romans probably about 75 B.C. Scholars believe the city was abandoned after the Islamic invasion of Spain, approximately from 700 A.D. to 1100 A.D.
The end of the Middle Ages saw something of a golden age for Segovia with a growing Jewish population and a powerful industry in cloth and textiles. There are several splendid works of Gothic architecture from this period and the city's population grew to about 27,000 in the 16th Century, but after a period of economic decline it was reduced to only 8,000 a century later. It is the site of Spain's first Military Academy.
In 1985 the old city of Segovia and its Aqueduct, originally 27 kilometers long and built by the Romans, entirely without mortar, and still standing, were declared World Heritage by UNESCO. There is evidence of many different cultures in the city, Islamic, Roman, Celtic, Catholic/Christian, and Jewish
The three most outstanding architectural structures are the Aqueduct (the pictures do not do justice), The Alcazar of Segovia (palace and fortress used by Walt Disney to model the famous castle at Disneyland, California), and The Segovia Cathedral, the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain and considered the masterpiece of Basque-Castilian Gothic, known as "The Lady of Cathedrals".
The Aqueduct: The date of its construction would have been the end of the 1st Century or early 2nd Century. The part of The Aqueduct located within the old city consists of about 25,000 granite blocks, some weighing several tons, put together without ANY mortar. The highest arch is more than 29 meters high.
As we walked past the arches Vivienne posed under one that is a great example of the concept of "keystone" which you can clearly see above her head. It gives a wonderful visual of the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith that the Book of Mormon is the "keystone" of our religion. If you pull that stone out the arch collapses.
The view looking back towards the beginning of the arches, the path we walked, which takes an approximate 90 degree left turn near the top of the hill.
Vivenne climbing the steps to the top of the aqueduct at the last arch as it enters the old walled fort.
Then we went exploring the narrow streets of the city....
I could have stayed there all afternoon. Paco and Susi are the most wonderful couple, and thank goodness their English is terrific, and their knowledge of the history of the area.
The Alcazar of Segovia: The royal palace located on top of a rock between the rivers Eresma and Clamores was documented for the first time in 1122 A.D. It was one of the favorite residences of the Kings of Castile.
The Segovia Cathedral: As I said, it's the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain, and after being destroyed once by fire was rebuilt and consecrated in 1768. The dimensions are about 330 feet long, 160 feet wide and over 100 feet high in the nave. It has 18 chapels and three main doors: El Perdon, San Frutos and San Geroteo.
Well, I've run out of time, so I'll have to post the pictures of the Alcazar and the Cathedral later. Stayed tuned.