Segovia – more than the aquaduct

As we look up at the imposing Roman Aquaduct in Segovia, we are reminded of the phrase, “What have the Romans ever done for us?” by Reg from the movie, Life of Brian.
We absolutely loved Segovia and would highly recommend it to anyone needing a break from Madrid and to see a regional town that is old and well preserved.

Segovia is the perfect day trip from Madrid. In our case, a perfect stop over on route to Salamanca. Upon reflection, we don’t think that our fleeting visit did it justice. We would have liked to have spent the night here and enjoyed the ancient town more by wandering the streets at night. As lunchtime neared, we were keen to feast on conchinillo asado, a Castillian and Segovian specialty. We were not determined to find “the perfect place”, rather, we were hoping to find a restaurant that served the famous suckling pig, which is fed on 21 days of mother’s milk and considered an absolute delicacy. This was a recommendation made to us upon collecting our car in Madrid…and what a fine recommendation it was.

Let me be clear here…we are NOT foodies that take a photo of our meals. Meals are to be enjoyed with by way of using ones natural senses…this photo is a rare exception! We stumbled across a restaurant called Asador Maribel, less than 100 metres from our carpark and had a meal that will forever be remembered as the best roast pork one will ever experience – light, succulent and melt in your mouth conchinillo asado, accompanied by a simple salad and pan fried potato.

Starting a walk at Plaza del Azoguejo, you are awestruck at the sight of the Roman aqueduct before you for which Segovia is most famous for as well as the imposing Gothic Cathedral (and the castle which we did not visit as we were on a time schedule to Salamanca).

The Roman aqueduct is one of the most spectacular legacies of the Roman Empire in Spain. It is a most impressive sight, which stretches over 800 meters long. It towers over the town and is a dramatically beautiful construction. The engineering that would have gone into its construction in the 1st century AD is mind boggling.  This two-tiered structure of giant granite arches seems even more remarkable when you consider that no mortar at all was used to hold the blocks together.

From the aqueduct, we climb the hill behind the aqueduct and enter the old town’s maze of streets to find Segovia’s huge gothic cathedral just off the Plaza Mayor. It is known for being located at the highest point of the Old Town. This too is an impressive structure, with construction lasting some 200 years. The interior of the cathedral is very beautiful, in a gothic style! It is hard to imagine this was built almost 500 years ago, how in the world back in the days without machines to even make those huge tall columns and put them together. Amazing architecture and engineering!

Several other points of interest include Iglesia de San Martin, a Romanesque-style church when Spain was under Moor control and the Casa de los Pincos, a fortified house with an interesting facade of granite pyramid peaks.

The Jewish Quarter, typically, has you stepping into a time machine with narrow, winding streets. Here we admire the legacy of a rich Jewish community

We were disappointed that we left Segovia after what was a fleeting visit. However, upon reflection, experiencing the conchinillo asado and seeing structures and buildings dating back millenia was satisfying and our short time here will be fondly remembered.

Leave a Reply