Leslie, my mom, dad, and I drove to Segovia earlier today. We did encounter a little bit of snow in the area of Puerto de Navacerrada (possibly translated as Never-Closed Pass). It lies at 1,860 meters (6,102 feet). The bit of snow made for a beautiful scene.
After parking in a garage in Segovia, we began walking directly to the Alcázar de Segovia (fortified castle of Segovia) to tour the castle. On the way, I paid particular attention to the façades of the buildings we passed. For some reason, many of the buildings in the old town area of Segovia have decorative plaster façades. With one possible exception, no pattern appeared to repeat. So, on this trip, I took photographs of many of them.
One of the most famous façades in Segovia is the Casa de los Picos (House of the Peaks). The Picos are diamond-shaped blocks of stone that protrude from the facade of the building. It was constructed in the 15th century by the Count of Fuensalida.
Once at the Alcázar, since Leslie and I had not previously been in the tower, I made sure our tickets included admittance to both the tower and the palace. At the time, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. The tower is a large rectangular structure situated in the center of the main façade of the Alcázar. When we entered the tower, there was a fairly large and wide staircase that led one up about one floor. Then we went through a small door that led to a stone, spiral staircase. We found out later there are 152-stairs in that staircase. On the way up we passed a couple of people coming down. We had to suck up very close to the wall to let them pass. Shortly after that encounter, we heard some young people coming down. It sounded as though they were speaking French. Regardless, it seemed like they would never stop coming down. My dad counted 58 kids! We thought we would never get to the top.
When we did get to the top, we were all tired. We vowed we would never do that again! We were all wishing there was an elevator in this 1120 structure. So, even though the tower is quite large, all we saw was a staircase and a view from the top of the tower. I am not sure what else may be in the tower.
There are several suits of armor on display in the castle. I can imagine they were heavy and quite uncomfortable to wear. Although, being speared or being shot with an arrow would also be quite uncomfortable; so, I guess it was a good trade. As small as the eye slits are, it is amazing the one wearing the suit could see. Like anything, over time, one must have become used to the restraints and learned how to fight.
During this tour of the Alcázar, much like I did on our walk to the castle, I concentrated on wall decoration and patterns. Inside the Alcázar, there are numerous patterns. Some are done in plaster and then painted, while others are done with tiles from the local area. Much like the façades, they are very intricate and interesting.