Segovia Introduction Walking Tour, Segovia

Segovia Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Segovia

Some say Segovia is the essence of Spain and a testament to the greatness of human achievement. Others call it a place of romance and a living legacy of the past in an inspiring setting. Either way, what is certain about this historic walled town perched on a rocky hilltop is that it boasts stunning views and magnificent architectural monuments.

Segovia, the capital of the eponymous province some 90 kilometers northwest of Madrid, is steeped in history. The town traces its roots back to ancient times when the area was settled by the Celtic Vaccaei people.

Established circa 80 BC, Segovia gained prominence during the Roman era. Its name is believed to have originated from the Celtic term Segobriga, which means “victory city”. The Roman influence in Segovia is still evident in several structures, notably the famous Aqueduct, a remarkable marvel of engineering and one of the city's most iconic attractions.

Throughout the centuries, Segovia had been ruled by different civilizations, including the Visigoths and the Moors. It flourished during the early medieval Moorish period until was reconquered by Christians in the 11th century. Later, the town saw the coronation of Queen Isabella the Catholic, in 1474, and experienced a manufacturing boom in the 16th century.

Reminders of all these periods are still present throughout the city. One such is the ancient Alcazar of Segovia, a stunning fortress located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. Often referred to as a fairy-tale castle, it is said to have inspired Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle.

The awe-inspiring Segovia Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Virgin Mary, is another must-visit sight, dating back to the 16th century. The imposing Cathedral presides over the picturesque Plaza Mayor, the main square of Segovia. Stretching from here to the Aqueduct is the bustling Royal Street (Calle Real de Segovia), one of the city's main thoroughfares.

Among other notable attractions in the city is the Jewish Quarter with its landmark Old Jewish Quarter Street (Calle Judería Vieja) and well-preserved medieval buildings.

Segovia wears its history with grace, captivating all who walk its ancient streets. The local architecture is not just bricks and mortar, but a language that speaks of grandeur and beauty. To hear what it tells you, embark on this self-guided walk and keep your eyes and ears open. You won't regret it!
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Segovia Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Segovia Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Segovia (See other walking tours in Segovia)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Author: nataly
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Aqueduct of Segovia
  • Plaza de Medina del Campo (Medina del Campo Square)
  • Calle Real de Segovia (Royal Street of Segovia)
  • Calle Judería Vieja (Old Jewish Quarter Street)
  • Plaza Mayor (Main Square)
  • Segovia Cathedral
  • La Muralla de Segovia (Walls of Segovia)
  • Museo de Segovia (Museum of Segovia)
  • Alcázar of Segovia (Segovia Castle)
Aqueduct of Segovia

1) Aqueduct of Segovia (must see)

The Aqueduct of Segovia stands as a magnificent symbol and an integral part of the city's historical fabric. This colossal Roman aqueduct has endured the test of time, earning its place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and captivating visitors with its remarkably well-preserved condition spanning over two millennia.

Regarded as one of the largest Roman structures in Spain, the Aqueduct of Segovia was constructed during the "Flavio" period around 50 CE. Its purpose was to transport water from the Acebeda River, located in the Sierra de Fuenfría mountains, over a distance of 17 kilometers, through a deep valley, and into the heart of the ancient city.

The engineering prowess showcased in the aqueduct's construction is truly remarkable. It was built using 20,400 granite blocks, ingeniously assembled without the use of cement. Even after centuries, the rows of 167 arches have remained intact, forming a visually striking and structurally sound testament to Roman architectural ingenuity.

The aqueduct commences its journey near the Granja Palace, located just outside Segovia. It traverses the landscape, carrying water through a canal until it reaches the city itself. One of the most impressive viewpoints to admire this monumental structure is at the Plaza del Azoguejo, which serves as the heart of the Old Town. Here, the aqueduct reaches its pinnacle height of 28 meters, commanding attention and admiration from all who behold it.

The Plaza del Azoguejo area offers a vibrant atmosphere with a multitude of traditional Spanish restaurants in close proximity to the aqueduct. For example, Restaurante Mesón de Cándido is situated beneath the arches, providing a unique dining experience with the aqueduct as a breathtaking backdrop. Restaurante Casa Duque, known for its country-style cuisine, and Restaurante El Cordero, serving typical specialties of Segovia, are also notable culinary options nearby.

As the aqueduct nears its culmination, it discreetly ends at the Alcázar, the historic fortress of Segovia. Here, its path concludes within an underground channel, marking the final destination of the water supply system that once quenched the city's thirst.
Plaza de Medina del Campo (Medina del Campo Square)

2) Plaza de Medina del Campo (Medina del Campo Square)

The Medina del Campo Square serves as a captivating reminder of the city's medieval past. This historic square was the bustling center of the medieval city. As you step into this charming square, you'll be greeted by a monument that stands proudly at its center, dedicated to Juan Bravo, one of the prominent leaders of the Revolt of the Commoners, a significant uprising in Spanish history.

Surrounding the plaza, you'll find a delightful array of restaurants and hotels, inviting you to indulge in the local cuisine and hospitality. Among the notable landmarks in close proximity is San Martin's Church, a stunning Baroque temple that dates back to the 12th century.

Within the Medina del Campo Square, you'll also come across two remarkable sculptures known as the Sirens. These sculptures, created by Francisco Bellver in 1852, resemble sphinxes with a human upper body, lion legs, and bird wings. These intriguing and enigmatic figures add a touch of mystique to the square, captivating the imagination of those who encounter them.

As you explore the Medina del Campo Square, you'll be immersed in the historical ambiance of medieval Segovia. The combination of the Juan Bravo monument, the architectural splendor of San Martin's Church, and the intriguing Sirens sculptures creates an atmosphere of cultural richness and artistic beauty.
Calle Real de Segovia (Royal Street of Segovia)

3) Calle Real de Segovia (Royal Street of Segovia)

The Royal Street of Segovia offers a captivating journey through history, art, and entertainment. This picturesque street serves as the main hub for shopping and leisure activities in Segovia. As you stroll along Calle Real, you'll be immersed in a vibrant atmosphere, surrounded by historical buildings, captivating statues and sculptures, and the delightful sights and sounds of artists and musicians showcasing their talents.

This bustling street leads you to the historic Plaza Mayor, a significant focal point that houses some of the city's most notable tourist attractions, including the majestic Segovia Cathedral. The Royal Street itself is not a single road but rather a series of pedestrian streets that wind through the old quarter of Segovia. As you follow its path, you'll encounter charming 15th and 16th-century palaces, churches, and secular buildings like the Corn Exchange. The street guides you seamlessly into the Jewish Quarter, further enriching your experience of Segovia's diverse heritage.

Running from the iconic Aqueduct to the magnificent Alcázar, the Royal Street provides a convenient and comprehensive introduction to Segovia's highlights, especially if you're short on time. Your exploration begins on Cervantes Street, branching off from Azoguejo Square, located beneath the impressive aqueduct. Along the way, you'll be delighted by street performers showcasing their talents, local shops offering unique treasures, and an array of inviting bars and cafes where you can take a break and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

While strolling along Juan Bravo Street, you'll come across a monument honoring the eponymous rebel who led the Revolt of the Comuneros in Segovia in 1520. Juan Bravo's valiant efforts to defend the rights of the common people ultimately led to his execution in 1521, making him a symbol of local heroism and resistance.

The Royal Street of Segovia provides a delightful blend of history, culture, and entertainment, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the city's rich heritage while enjoying the vibrant ambiance of this lively thoroughfare.
Calle Judería Vieja (Old Jewish Quarter Street)

4) Calle Judería Vieja (Old Jewish Quarter Street)

The Old Jewish Quarter Street holds a rich history as a former neighborhood inhabited by the Hebrew community from at least the 12th century until their expulsion following the Edict of Granada in 1492, decreed by the Catholic Monarchs. During its existence, the Jewish Quarter flourished as one of the most prosperous and populous Jewish communities in Castile.

Situated in the southern part of the walled city, the Jewish Quarter encompasses the area around Corpus Christi Square and the Canonry. Following the expulsion, the Jewish Quarter came to be known as New District. The importance of this Hebrew enclave is evident from the fact that it housed five synagogues, Rabbinic schools, and Hebrew butcher's shops.

The distinct medieval atmosphere of the old Jewish quarter allows visitors to catch glimpses of its Sephardic past. Street names like Old Jewish Quarter and New Jewish Quarter serve as reminders of its historical significance.

The main thoroughfare of this quarter is the old Main Street, which is now known as Old Jewish Quarter Street. Today, at number 12 Old Jewish Quarter Street, visitors will find the Educational Center of the Jewish Quarter, where exhibits and videos in English provide detailed insights into the history of Jews in Segovia and throughout Spain. This museum is open every day of the week, although it closes in the afternoon on Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday.
Plaza Mayor (Main Square)

5) Plaza Mayor (Main Square) (must see)

The Main Square is a vibrant town square located at the end of Royal Street, one of the city's most renowned streets. This historical plaza is home to several significant buildings that shape the city's identity, including the town hall, the Juan Bravo Theatre, the San Miguel Church, and the majestic cathedral.

The origins of the plaza date back centuries, long before its formal construction in the 17th century. In earlier times, this space served as the center of the village, where vendors would set up their stands and residents would gather for socializing and meetings. During the medieval period, the street was known as Ribbon Street, owing to the presence of shops and vendors in the area.

The town hall, constructed in the 17th century, has remained a focal point for numerous events and activities in Segovia. It has witnessed the city's political developments and continues to be a central venue for important occasions. To the left of the town hall stands the Santa Maria de la Asuncion and San Frutos Cathedral, a remarkable structure built between 1525 and 1577. This architectural marvel adds to the grandeur of the plaza.

The Church of San Miguel, though it collapsed in 1532, was reconstructed in its original location and remains an integral part of the square's landscape. Its historical significance is deeply intertwined with the plaza's heritage.

As the heart of Segovia, the Main Square has served as a hub of political and economic activities throughout its history. The atrium of San Miguel was a meeting place for the city council, and the plaza was a bustling center of trade. To this day, the tradition continues with a weekly market, granted by Enrique IV, that takes place every Thursday, adding vibrancy and liveliness to the square.

One of the notable buildings within the plaza is the Juan Bravo Theatre, constructed in 1917 and still in use today. This cultural venue enriches the local arts scene, hosting performances and events for both residents and visitors alike.

Over time, Plaza Mayor has evolved, witnessing changes in its surroundings. By the late 19th century, the square became adorned with coffee shops, hotels, and boutique stores. This transformation attracted a higher influx of tourists to Segovia, contributing to the city's tourism industry.
Segovia Cathedral

6) Segovia Cathedral (must see)

The Segovia Cathedral, an awe-inspiring Late Gothic masterpiece, reigns majestically atop the highest point of the Old Town, exerting its dominance over the surrounding landscape. Positioned strategically, it offers panoramic views of the city and the picturesque Sierra de Guadarrama foothills.

Dating back to 1525, the Segovia Cathedral stands as the final Gothic cathedral constructed in Spain, and its magnificence is evident in its intricately designed façade and soaring towers. The remarkable Puerta del Perdón entrance, a creation by Juan Guas, showcases exquisite craftsmanship.

Stepping into the cathedral's vast vaulted interior, visitors are greeted by the grandeur of Gothic architecture. Bathed in the vibrant hues of stained-glass windows, the sanctuary, extending 105 meters in length, emanates a sense of tranquility and balance.

The cathedral houses 20 chapels, adorned with fine sculptures, artworks, and altars, each enclosed by ornate grilles. The main altarpiece, a masterpiece crafted from marble, jasper, and bronze, features a 14th-century ivory figure of the Virgen de la Paz, captivating all who behold it.

For enthusiasts of ecclesiastical artifacts, the Museo Catedralicio de Segovia presents liturgical objects, religious paintings, and 17th-century tapestries within 18 chapels of the cathedral. The museum's collections boast noteworthy works crafted from gold and silver, spanning the 15th to 18th centuries. Additionally, masterpieces of religious painting and tapestries from the School of Rubens grace its halls.

The cathedral is also home to the Archivo Capitular, an archive room preserving over 500 antique songbooks, documents, manuscripts, and books, including the Sinodal de Aguilafuente, Spain's first printed book. Visitors can explore this treasure trove from Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 1 pm.

Regular masses take place at the cathedral from Monday to Saturday at 10 am, and on Sundays and holidays at 11 am and 12:30 pm. Tourists can visit the cathedral, with an admission fee, from Monday to Thursday between 9:30 am and 7:30 pm, on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm, and on Sundays from 12:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Guided tours of the cathedral and its tower, conducted in Spanish, are available for an additional fee.
La Muralla de Segovia (Walls of Segovia)

7) La Muralla de Segovia (Walls of Segovia)

The walls of Segovia stand as a testament to the rich medieval history of the city. These walls once encircled and protected the city, and their remnants continue to inspire awe and admiration among visitors.

Stretching over a length of approximately 2,250 meters (7,380 feet), the walls of Segovia boast an average height of 9 meters (30 feet) and an average thickness of 2.5 meters (8 feet 2 inches). Constructed from various materials, some sections of the walls date back to ancient times, but most of the structure we see today originated in the 11th and 12th centuries, with subsequent renovations carried out over the centuries.

Beginning at the Alcázar, a majestic castle that overlooks the city, and extending towards the gate of Santiago, the walls feature two circular towers and a rectangular one. The Santiago Gate, characterized by its rectangular design, is adorned with a striking horseshoe arch, showcasing the architectural elegance of the period. Continuing northwards from the historic center, the walls dominate the landscape along the Eresma River until reaching the gate of San Cebrián, marked by a crucifix at its entrance.

From there, the wall, elevated on rocky terrain, proceeds eastward until reaching the former San Juan Gate. Although this ornamental arch, built in the 16th century, was unfortunately demolished in 1888 to accommodate urban needs, the remnants of its existence speak to the city's evolution over time. Moving southward and then westward, this section of the wall encompasses notable features such as the Shutter of Consolation, the Gate of the Canaleja, and the gates of San Martín, the Moon, and the Sun, each adding a unique charm to the fortifications.

Continuing westward, the journey along the walls leads to the impressive San Andrés Gate, distinguished by its square shape and polygonal tower. From this point, the walls gracefully complete their circuit, enclosing the city's perimeter around the Alcázar.

For visitors, strolling along the ramparts provides a captivating vantage point to admire Segovia's magnificent monuments. Walking atop these fortified walls, tourists are treated to panoramic vistas of the city's architectural treasures. Inside the former guards' headquarters, a fascinating sight awaits as visitors can explore the very walls that defended the upper reaches of the city.
Museo de Segovia (Museum of Segovia)

8) Museo de Segovia (Museum of Segovia)

The Museum of Segovia is housed in the old slaughterhouse building known as Casa del Sol, which was given to the State by the City. This historic building has been serving as a museum since the time of Enrique IV. The museum's exhibition is spread across six rooms surrounding a central courtyard, showcasing artifacts from various eras.

The first room serves as an introduction, focusing on the region's geology and landscape. It features a large model of the area and an audiovisual production that supports the explanations provided.

In the second room, visitors can explore objects spanning from Prehistory to the Late Middle Ages, with dedicated sections highlighting the Roman world and the famous Aqueduct of Segovia. Noteworthy pieces in this collection include two Celtiberian verracos (large statues of bulls or wild boars), Roman mosaics, Visigoth enamels, and a wide array of wooden paintings by Castilian artists from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Additionally, the museum houses interesting collections of coins produced in the Segovian Mint, glass pieces from La Granja, religious sculptures, engravings by renowned artists such as Durero and Rembrandt, as well as contemporary paintings.

The Museum of Segovia offers visitors a diverse and captivating journey through the region's history and artistic heritage. From ancient artifacts to masterful artworks, the museum presents a comprehensive view of Segovia's rich cultural legacy.
Alcázar of Segovia (Segovia Castle)

9) Alcázar of Segovia (Segovia Castle) (must see)

Perched atop a steep-sided rocky crag, the Segovia Castle, with its turreted towers reminiscent of a fairy tale, leaves visitors awe-inspired. This fortress is strategically positioned above the city, evoking the original military purpose it served, showcasing an impenetrable location.

Dating back to the 12th century, the Castleonce served as the royal residence of King Alfonso X during the 13th century. It underwent elegant Gothic enhancements in the 15th century during the reign of Henry IV. The final architectural renovation, completed in the 16th century by Francisco de Mora, witnessed the celebration of the marriage between Philip II and Anne of Austria in the Castle's chapel.

Visitors enter the castle through the Torre de Juan II, a 14th-century tower adorned with ten semicircular turrets. The monument welcomes the public year-round, with admission fees required. From April to October, visiting hours are from 10 am to 8 pm, while from November to March, hours are from 10 am to 6 pm. Guided tours are available in English, French, and Spanish.

Exploring the Alcázar allows visitors to immerse themselves in its beautifully furnished rooms adorned with tapestries, arms, and armor, all reflecting the period style. The Sala del Solio (Throne Room) stands out for its ornate gilded ceiling, while the Sala de la Galera offers breathtaking views of the river valley through its arched windows.

Ascending the Tower of John II provides visitors with the opportunity to marvel at the panoramic views of the town, the Sierra de Guadarrama, and the Meseta from an elevated perspective.

Walking Tours in Segovia, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Segovia

Create Your Own Walk in Segovia

Creating your own self-guided walk in Segovia is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Segovia's Historical Churches Walking Tour

Segovia's Historical Churches Walking Tour

Nestled within the enchanting confines of Segovia, a treasure trove of ecclesiastical splendor awaits the discerning eye. Revered as architectural marvels, the historical churches of this illustrious city stand as testaments to the ingenuity of human craftsmanship and the enduring power of faith.

Dominating the skyline with regal grandeur, Segovia Cathedral (Catedral de Segovia), an opus of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

For centuries, an exquisite blend of medieval allure and cultural significance has beckoned visitors to Segovia's Jewish Quarter. The undulated shape and seven gates of this storied area set it apart from the rest of the city.

Beyond the boundaries of the Quarter, the majestic Gate of Saint Andrew (Puerta de San Andrés) serves as one of the access points to both the walled city of Segovia...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles