The first mention
Alcazar is an outstanding fortification in Segovia. This fortification was built to protect the city but later on became the royal residence and prison. Today it is a Royal Artillery College. Archaeological excavations show that Celtic tribes were settled on this site.
Then the Romans came. The first mention of the Alcazar of Segovia was at the beginning of the 12th century. This was the period of the Arab influence on Spain, but 30 years later the fortification became Christian again.
Before the King Alfonso VIII and his wife Eleanor came to the throne in the 12th century, the building was made of wood. After the King and Queen made Alcazar their residence, they started a lot of work in order to make this building a pleasant place to live in.
History of the fortification
The fortress became a favorite residence of Spanish kings. At the end of the 13th century, King Alfonso X made his own contribution to the fortress and built the Hall of Kings and the house of Parliament. The most important contributor to the building was John II. His famous ‘New Tower’ is visible even today.
When the King Henry IV died at the end of the 15th century, his successor Isabella I of Castile escaped from Madrid and was crowned as Queen of Castile and Leon in the Alcazar. The next contributors to the castle were King Philip II and his wife Queen Anna from Austria.
They added the sharp slate spires to the castle. When the royal establishment decided to move to Madrid, the Alcazar became a prison. At the end of the 19th century, the fortification was devastated by fire. Using the old sketches, it was rebuilt in 1882.
The interior of the Alcazar of Segovia is decorated with luxury. Entering the fortification from the Lion gate shows an impressive view of many palaces, corridors and gardens. The main building inside the fortification is the Royal Palace – the oldest royal palace in Europe.
It consists of several smaller palaces and shows the perfect match between many different artistic influences: Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo. Inside the Palace, there are three important rooms: the Hall of Kings, the Hall of the Throne and the Hall of Ajimeces. The Galley Chamber has magnificent paintings.
One section of the wall of the Chamber shows Queen Isabella’s coronation. In the Throne Hall, two thrones are visible. In front of them is inscribed – “Tanto Monta” (it makes no odds). The image of Henry IV is not old, but modern work as the ceiling – restored after the original one was destroyed in fire. All the halls are surrounded with beautiful gardens.
Islamic, classical and modern influences are visible in the gardens. Apart from beautiful flowers and fountains, there are modern baths and statues placed in them.If you climb up to the main tower, you can see a magnificent view of the city.