Entries Tagged as 'W EUR- SP, Segovia'

Segovia- Segovia Cathedral

Oftentimes, 21st century critics look back on 15th and 16th century Spain as an intolerent, uneducated, and backword place.  These same critics might change their tune if they saw and were able to appreciate the architectural skill necessary for building the incredible cathedrals of Spain.

One particularly impressive example of that was Segovia Cathedral on Daoiz Street.  Looking at the ornate exterior of the structure, with its numerous spiked pinnacles, it was not surprising that it was described as being an example of the Flamboyant Gothic style of architecture.  Also of note were the beautiful stone carvings of soldiers, horses, and lions.

On entering the structure, the first thing noticed by your humble correspondent was how massive the interior was, and how beautiful the fan-vaulted ceiling.  Also of interest were the fine altarpiece and the handsome carved tombs of nobles and clergy.

Lastly, the cloisters(outdoor courtyard), which were used for prayer and meditation, were perfectly symmetric, and quite graceful.  A perfect place for a peaceful stroll.

All in all, quite an impressive place.


Segovia- The Castle of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain

On my arrival in the delightful small town of Segovia, I immediately made my way up Daoiz Street to the impressive Alcazar, which was famous for having been the castle of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.  Together, these two Christian monarchs drove the Moors(Moslem conquerors that lived in Spain) out of Spain, reuniting the country.  They(particularly Isabella) also sent Christopher Columbus west, where he subsequently discovered the New World.  These actions helped to usher in the golden age of Spain.

The Alcazar itself looked like a castle from a fairytale, with its pinnacles, drawbridge, and moat.  I myself walked across the drawbridge, through a hall mounted with shields that were decorated with various coats-of-arms, and into a regal red throneroom of these aforementioned monarchs.  The thrones themselves were made of beautifully hand-crafted wood, and were gothic in style.  Above the thrones was a fierce brown bird etched into the red background.  Also in the room was a stained-glass window featuring a Christian knight on horseback trampling over a Moor.  Subtlety was obviously not a virtue in 15th century Spain.

Next, I made my way into a large room with a beautiful mural of Queen Isabella and her court.  My eyes were then drawn upward to the intricate ceiling carved and painted by skilled craftsmen.

After that, I made my way into the royal bedroom, with its impressive battle tapestries, and relatively modest dark brown wooden bed.

Then on I went into a very large room that contained relatively small carved likenesses of Spanish kings of old, located in niches in the walls on all four sides of the room, carrying weapons of war.  The message conveyed by this room seemed to be clear: we are a noble and powerful country, and are not to be trifled with. 

Last of all, with visions of golden age grandeur in my head, I made my way back to my hotel.