Another Trip to Segovia

Another Trip to Segovia

Segovia, Spain – April 1, 2010

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.

The always awe-inspiring aqueduct in Segovia.
A view of Segovia from the old city wall.
A gate through the old city wall.
A portion of the old city wall.
A decorative building façade.
A decorative building façade II.
A decorative building façade III.
A decorative building façade IV.
A decorative building façade V.
A decorative building façade VI.
A small building with a decorative building façade.
A decorative building façade VII.
A decorative building façade VIII.
A small shop selling everything a tourist may need.
A decorative building façade IX.
A decorative building façade X.
A decorative building façade XI.
A decorative building façade XII.
A decorative building façade XIII.
A decorative building façade XIV.
A decorative building façade XV.

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.

Possibly the most unique façade belongs to the Casa de los Picos (House of the Peaks).

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.

The royal crest at the gate to the Alcázar de Segovia (fortified castle). The sign reads, “Reigning Fernando VII Year of 1817.”
Some spring flowers in front of the Alcázar.
One of the towers of the Alcázar.
The opposite tower.
Decorative façade on the Alcázar.
A view from the Alcázar of the old city of Segovia.
A shield inside the Alcázar.

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.

A suit of armor on display.
A suit of armor on display II.
A suit of armor on display III.
A suit of armor on display IV.
A worker polishing a suit of armor.
The remnants of some decorative paint.
A tapestry in the Alcázar.
A stained-glass window in the throne room depicts Henry IV (reigned 1454 to 1474). Note the human head under each of the hooves of the horse. That’s gonna leave a mark…
Reproductions of the thrones in the throne room.
The cupola in the throne room.
A suit of armor on display V.
Detail of a painting of the coronation of Isabel the Catholic of Castile.
Another stained-glass window in the throne room. Note the head and body under the horse.
Another of the tapestries on display.
Fellow woodworkers may find this chair interesting.
The bed in the royal chamber.
Detail of the Kings Room.
The statue seems to be dancing to an unheard tune.
Chairs and painting in the Kings Room.

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.

Detail of the tile in the Cord Room.
Detail of a tapestry in the Cord Room.
Detail of some of the tile.
This retable (altarpiece) in the chapel dates from the first part of the 16th century.
Another style of the tile used.
Checking out the displays in the armory.
What a day for a knight!
A display in the armory.
The view to the north of the Alcázar. The Iglesia de la Vera Cruz (Church of the True Cross) is visible in the distance.
A plant growing into the wall of the Alcázar.
A local police car.
A local police van.
Detail of a water fountain in the Plaza de San Martín.
A photographer capturing just the right shot at the Church of San Martín. The church dates from 1117.
A young man posing for a photograph at the monument to Juan Bravo in the Plaza de Medina del Campo.
The San Martín Church.
The view toward the aqueduct from Calle Cervantes.
A decorative building façade XVI. The sign reads, “Carmen’s descent.”
Arch of La Fuencisla.
The view of the Alcázar from below.

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