Close to Madrid, about a 45 minute drive, the city of Segovia is a World Heritage City, with unique sights that are worth a visit. One of the most emblematic monuments is the Roman Aqueduct, made up of 167 arches, spanning around 14 kilometres and defying the laws of gravity, since no kind of mortar was used in its construction, showing the precision of Roman engineering. It was built during the second half of the first century A.D. and it remains one of the most intact Roman aqueducts in Europe.
The Cathedral of Segovia is other emblem of the city which stands out due to its large size but also for its overwhelming beauty. The construction of this late Gothic Style cathedral began in 1525, during Carlos V’s reign. It is known as the “Lady of Cathedrals” because of its impressive height and the depth of its naves. Inside, there are 23 chapels with interesting works of art, the impressive main altar, and an exceptional organ which is still in use.
The Jewish Quarter is another historical site in Segovia. It is located in the south of the walled city and it still keeps traces of its jewish past. In the 13th and 14th Century, Segovia had a significant Jewish population which did not cause social or religious conflicts. However, under the Catholic Monarchs’ reign , the situation changed and the full segregation of the Jewish population was established throughout all their kingdoms. In the case of Segovia, the Jewish Quarter was enclosed by eight gates plus two others within the City Wall. Today, the layout of the Jewish Quarter in Segovia remains practically intact.
Last but not least, the magnificent Alcazar which I already wrote about in a separate post as it deserves special attention for its impressive history and architecture.
Before we leave Segovia, there is a traditional dish you must try: Cochinillo (Suckling Pig).
This is a roasted suckling pig with juicy meat, tender and crispy skin, and a very thin layer of fat. The meat is so tender that it practically falls apart when cooked properly. The pigs should not weigh more than five kilograms and can not be older than three weeks, they are traditionally roasted in large, open-faced brick ovens.
One of the best restaurants to try Cochinillo is Meson de Candido, a traditional cuisine restaurant in the center of Segovia that has been in business for three generations. One of the main attractions is when the waiter cuts the pig using a plate to demonstrate how tender it is.