Alcazar at Segovia

Alcazar at Segovia



Location: Segovia
Phone: (921) 46 07 59
 (921) 46 07 59
Transport: bus 2 (from train station)
Hours: Mar-Aug 10am - 9pm Sep-Feb 10am - 8pm


The hill over a city of Segovia carved by the rivers Eresma and Clamores was originally used by the Romans and later Arab as great location for their fortifications. In fact this impressive castle gets its name from an Arab word (القصر al qasr) for “castle”. Build in a shape of a ship’s bow this is one of the most unique and distinct castle in Spain. A deep moot around the castle adds a romantic feel in a castle. In fact Walt Disney used it as an inspiration for his own castle for Sleeping Beauty. Trough its history it was used as a royal residence, prison, artillery school, military academy and finally a museum. Highlights of the castle include the Sala de Reyes (King’s room) with 52 sculptures of kings who fought in reconquista starting from Pelagius of Asturias down to Juana la Loca, the Hall of Ajimeces that houses many works of arts, Sala de las Piñas (Pine Cone room) with 392 pine cones hanging from a ceiling and the Hall of the Throne.


History of Segovia Castle

Town of Segovia was a large town since the Roman times and a fortification was build here to defend it against enemy attacks. This strategic location did not lay abandoned and switched hands several times until Arab armies did not capture it and erected their own citadel on this place. Little is known of the previous history of the castle. It was probably a wooden structure. The first time it was mentioned is in 1120, 32 years after Alfonso VI of Castile conquered this region of Spain defeating Arabs.



Alfonso VIII (1155- 1214) and his wife Eleanor of Plantagenet liked the location and made Alcazar their royal residence erecting a stone fortress that tourists see today. Later Spanish kings made several improvements to the state residence. King John II (1405 – 1454) added “New Tower” or John II tower (the Torre de Juan II in Spanish) a favorite place where tourists take pictures of the surrounding countryside. At the time of its construction however this was an attempt to reinforce the castle against artillery. After death of king Henry IV in 1474 his half- sister Isabella of Castile used the castle as a refuge against Portuguese and other contenders to the throne. Strong walls offered good protection and saved the future queen who will finish reconquest of Iberian peninsula from the Arabs by capturing Granada and sponsor Columbus on his voyages to the New World

In the 16th century the castle became a prison for state criminals until 1762 then the Royal Artillery School was found here. Giving a castle in the hands of teenagers proved to be a blunder and on March 6th 1862 beautiful resident burnt our destroying much of the wooden interior. It took 20 years to restore the former splendor of the interior. King Alfonso XIII handed the castle over to the Ministry of War for military college. In the mid- 20th century it became a museum.