Segovia – Day Two (June 4, 2008)

June 9, 2008 at 2:54 pm 1 comment

Before I begin day 2 I should say a bit more about the hotel we stayed in. A group of entrepreneurs purchased the entire building with the objective of opening a hotel. The building, as purchased, was divided into may independent sections such as shops, restaurants and apartments. Workmen began to tear out the divisions and discovered a trove of art treasures hidden behind false ceilings and walls. The ceilings in particular had been protected so well that little restorative work was needed. Apart from the fantastic Mudéjar moulded ceilings from the XV century, (see photos here) the hotel also has the most important Roman remains found in Segovia, apart from the Acueduct, and that is the “Aljibe” which was the biggest cistern in the city and now has been turned into a meeting lounge in the hotel. Excavations are still ongoing in the basement as more discoveries are being made. The hotel is right across the street from the chapel where princess Isabella of Castile/Leon was crowned queen in 1474.

We got up at 7:00 and headed down to breakfast with other delegates in the conference (I forgot to mention that we were here because Alex was presenting a paper at a conference being held here). I have to say I enjoyed breakfast more than I thought I would. Having breakfast with learned historians leaves one VERY INFORMED of the area. I really enjoyed the small talk and left with a plan of touring the city on my own as Alex was working all day.

The first place I wanted to see was the Alcazar……………….

This place has a history that goes back to the early days of the 12th century. Over the centuries it served as the Royal court, state prison and a military school. I was the third one in and the place was empty, I had it all to myself. The first room I entered the Old Castle Hall containing articles of war.

The mounted knights were full sized…………

The details were amazing and I kind of got carried away with the sense of who had come before me, especially when standing in the throne room…..

The next room was as impressive, called the Galley Chamber because the shape of the ceiling resembled an inverted hull. Queen Catherine of Lancaster had this room built in 1412.

The other rooms including the centre court were filled with artifacts collected from the artillery school

They warn visitors that the climb to the top of Torre de Juan II is an arduous climb of 152 steps. I figured that wasn’t bad so I climbed up. Yes, it was 152 steps but they failed to mention that each step is much higher than normal. I climbed to the taop and was rewarded with spectacular views.

It’s funny to note that when I was leaving I had to use the washroom which was down a flight of stairs. There was a small sign leading down further to some roman ruins which aren’t mentioned anywhere.

I left Alcazar and went way down to where the rio Eresma flowed. We found a footpath yesterday and someone mentioned at breakfast that this went around the city so I wanted to walk it. I started at the bridge.

The path followed the river but there were a few branches so I kind of kept to the foot of the cliff to make sure I ended up going around the city.

Looking back on the path as I climbed back towards the walled city

The building at the end of the wall is an old slaughter house that has been turned into a museum, Museos de Castilla y Leon.

I had to hurry at this point because I need to meet Alex for lunch at 2:00. We met at Plaza san Martin and here she is waiting for me………

When lunch was over I returned to the place I had entered the city after the walk. I stood on one of the towers and walked along the wall where I came across the museum. I decided to go in and I was the only one there. It was all about the history of Segovia, describing the origins of its geology, the inhabitants and architecture. There were artifacts from the bronze age, visigoths, romans and medieval. There was even a skelton of a roman centurion with pieces of his armour still attached. I had an almost personal tour guide as each guard was more than eager to tell me about their part of the museum. I saw this water driven machine consisting of two massive wooden hammers. Someone mentioned it might have been the device that so terrified Don Quixote in the night. Once again I had to hurry because I was going to meet Alex for a visit to a chapel that was once a synagogue.

We visited and she went back to the conference. I went to our room for a nap……. Ask me if I love naps.

We met around 9:30 had dinner and off to sleep.

Entry filed under: Alan's Blog, Blog, Spain.

Arrival in Segovia Segovia – Day Three (June 5,2008)

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. HD  |  June 9, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    OMG this brings back so many good memories of when I visited here with my dad. Come home with more stories Alan!

    H.

    Reply

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