Saturday, June 21, 2014

First excursion: Segovia, Part 2

After leaving the famous palace known as La Granja (the farm), we were met by our tour guide Arantxa just inside the ancient murallas or city walls that once protected Segovia. Our tour began with a brief but thorough review of the city's history and of course, a stop at the famous acueducto. The aqueduct, recognized as a World Heritage Site and official monument of the city, is more than 2,000 years old.

As we made our way through Segovia's narrow streets, Arantxa explained each of the distinct barrios (neighborhoods) and how three different religious groups (the Catholics, Jews and Moors) once co-existed within the city's walls. She pointed out both the cultural and architectural contributions each group had made. 

The next stops we made were to Segovia's Plaza Mayor and beautiful cathedral. The cathedral, also known as La gran dama, is recognized as the last to be built in the gothic style.

   Here are a few more pics as we made our way through the narrow streets toward our next stop. 

Our last stop for the day (and the favorite of several students) was to Segovia's famed Alcázar. The palace, rumored to be one of several inspirations for Disney's Cinderella Castle,  was originally a fortress but was later used as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and finally as military academy. Here, students were able to experience several centuries of history, strolling through a number of the palace's rooms, visiting knights, and of course, inspecting cannons! 

 Yes, I do believe that is a guillotine! Let's not get too close!

Ready, aim... picture taken. Nothing was fired. 

Just checking to make sure everything looks right. 

Above, you can see some of the ancient murallas, or walls, of the city.

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