We drove to Madrid in order to see that metropolis, but while it’s big and bustling and modern, we ended up using it mostly as a hub to see some of the charming little towns that surround it. The first was Segovia, Spain, which is famous for three structures in particular, as you’ll see below. It is also the capitol of the Province of Segovia, as well as the home of that famous women’s Roller Derby team, the Segovian Sluts.
The first of the three famous structures is an impressive aqueduct, which greets you as you drive into town. The aqueduct is so important to the Segovians that it’s even a part of the city’s coat of arms (although I have no idea how you’d fit an entire aqueduct into your coat). It is of Roman construction, estimated to have been built in the first century AD. The aqueduct is the city’s most important architectural landmark, and functioned for centuries. It runs a little over 9 miles (15km), delivering water from the Rio Frio river. Not sure if the water stayed frio during the journey, but this was before 7-11 invented Slurpees, so the Spanish didn’t care. But in essence, 7-11 killed the aqueduct. Think about that next time you push through the “Save the Aqueducts!” mobs when you decide to go into one of those stores.
You can see why the aqueduct is so important to Segovia, it’s pretty hard to miss. Can you imagine building something that is used for centuries? I wonder how many things we build today will be able to claim the same. Yeah, I think none. I might’ve said Betty White but she screwed that all up.
The second of the three structures is the Segovia Cathedral, which dominates the skyline and offers some impressive views of the landscape if you go to the top.
The church was built in the mid-16th century in late Gothic style, which by that time was out of favor in the rest of Europe. The Spaniards of the time didn’t care about that though, because that was a time when a lot of Spaniards had a mindset against hard work. Seriously. That’s covered in some detail in the 1,342 page History of Segovia tome we have on our coffee table, so you know it must be true.
Anyway, I don’t know how they built anything with that attitude. In this case, the powers-that-be decided to dedicate it to the Virgin Mary, which must have scared all the construction workers into making it because none of them wanted to die a virgin. It’s all in the book!
The third famous structure is the Alcázar of Segovia (Alcázar means “Fortress”). It is a medieval castle originally built to serve as a fortress, but has also been used as a royal palace, a state prison, an artillery college, a military academy, a museum, and as a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant (just kidding).
It also inspired the castle in Disney’s 1937 animated film, Snow White and the Seven Spaniards (the title was later changed to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves after a couple of drunken Spaniards complained loudly in front of Walt’s wife, Lillian). We never hear much about Lillian Disney do we? I wonder if that was because of the Spaniards…
Segovia is also a beautiful and picturesque town. We spent most of the day just wandering around gazing upon all the beauty, both manmade and natural. The more we travel, the more we appreciate the smaller towns, with their history and charm. Segovia definitely filled the bill!
Segovia is also the home of the Spanish Western Order of the Overcaffeinated Nuns (SWOON). You can see their headquarters here at the Eurostar Cappuccino Convent.
But perhaps the most famous Segovian architecture of them all is the amazing Gargoyle with an iPhone. It’s said that Steve Jobs took a trip out here in the late ’90s and was inspired by this incredibly prognosticative ancient statue, and the rest is technology history. Fortunately, the gargoyle obviously wasn’t looking at porn, mostly because that hadn’t been invented yet, and if it had, no doubt there would have been a little, ahem. physical evidence from a naked gargoyle, if you know what I mean. Of course, I’m talking about his expression… wait, what were you thinking? Oh shame! Shame! You disgust me!
Well that’s it for Segovia. We highly recommend it to anyone traveling in or around Madrid, as it was to us by some local friends. It doesn’t get much more picturesque than Segovia, Spain. Seriously!