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Excursion to Segovia

1. Locating Segovia

Castilla y León is a region formed by the provinces of Avila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora. It is located in the central plains of the Iberian Peninsula and surrounded by the Cantabrian, Iberian and Central mountain ranges and the border with Portugal. The province of Segovia is located towards the center of Spain, and borders the provinces of Valladolid, Burgos, Soria, Guadalajara, Madrid and Ávila. The region covers 6.942 square km, with more than 50,000 inhabitants and is a tranquil provincial capital.

2. Climate

Segovia is located on a rocky escarpment located between the Eresma and Clamores Rivers. It has a cold climate in winter and mild summers.

3. Monuments

The Aqueduct: This magnificent Roman structure, dating from the First Century, which carried water to an encampment located in the town. Within the city you can see a 700 meter section, with 163 arches, constructed of granite stone, reaching 29 meters tall in some points. 
This magnificent work suffered damage in the last half century especially from the increasing contamination from the passing of vehicles below the arches. Traffic is now prohibited through the archways. 

The Alcázar Fortress: built around the 6th century as a defensive fortress gained more and more prestige when it became a royal residence. It's most renowned moment was that of Felipe II time. The interior can be visited and it shows a series of interesting rooms, among them the Chimney room, Felipe II office and the Throne room, with Arab relief and decoration. Also interesting is the Kings Room adorned with caissons. You can appreciate a magnificent view of the area from the Juan II tower.   

Las Murallas: Practically the entire city is enclosed by an irregular series of defense walls, of unequal conservation. The length from the Alcazár to near the Aqueduct conserves many tall towers and some of its historical doorways, such as the Puerta de San Andrés. A walk along the walls is a beautiful way to enjoy the surroundings. It is recommended to follow the  paseo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, from the Aqueduct to the Sanctuary of Fuencisla. It is a pathway which allows us to see the walls to the left and to the right side you can appreciate monuments such as the Monasteries of  Santa Cruz la Real, San Vicente and El Parral. Later, crossing the bridge that that exists before the esplanade of La Fuencisla, you move forward on Paseo de los Hoyos circling around the urban perimeter. The Paseo de los Hoyos provides another perspective of the city especially of the Alcazár and the Cathedral. 

The Cathedral: is Gothic, from the 16th century, originally planned byJuan Gil de Hontañón, to replace an anterior Roman style cathedral, which was destroyed in large part by a fire.   
This is one of the great temples of late Gothic in which the vigorous tower of 90 meters stands out. In the interior are three naves, lateral chapels and a semicircular sanctuary. There are numerous chapels which contain valuable works of Juan de Juni (una Piedad) y Gregorio Fernández (un Cristo yacente). The cloister is also interesting. In the Cathedral's museum you will find beautiful Altarpieces. 

4. Anecdotes

San Frutos, patron saint of Segovia: The legend says that the Moors went after the Christians who had retired to the dessert, not only to flee from the Moors but to live a more saintly life, Frutos went out to meet them. After trying to convince them of the errors of their Muslim beliefs and to detail their persecution of the Christians, seeing that the Moors persisted in their attitude, he traced a line on the ground, intimidating the moors not to cross the line, and if they did cross it that God would take care of preventing it. And that is just what happened when the first Moors crossed the line, a profound crack opened up in the earth, which was then named the "Cuchillada de San Frutos" From then on the Segovian people had a great respect for the Saint, who died of advance d age. The festival to honor San Frutos is celebrated on October 25 with a romería.

The Aqueduct: The legend says that the aqueduct is the work of the Devil. He tried to possess the soul of a young girl, who , tired of going down to the fountains below in the valley, was ready to do anything to not have to support this tedious work. 
One day the Devil offered to construct a large bridge in exchange for her soul. The girl accepted but with the condition that it be completed in one night. The Devil set to work and there was just one stone left to place when the first rays of sun appeared, thus losing the chance to take the girl's soul. Some people say that the holes you can see in the stones of the Aqueduct are the fingerprints of the Devil. 

Legend of the Dead Woman. From Segovia you can observe the silhouette of a woman along the mountain tops know as "la Mujer Muerta" or the "Dead Woman". According to an ancient legend it's formation is due to the following: The wife of a chief of a tribe that lived in the hills where the Alcazár is now located, brought up twin boys, who with time were to confront each other to govern the tribe. The mother, desperate with the brothers fighting, offered her life in exchange for her sons. When they were to confront each other a great snow (in summer) prevented it. After the strange weather passed, they discovered that a mountain now covered the area where there was once a valley. God had accepted the mother's sacrifice and covered her sleeping body with snow. 

Escuela Internacional Central Registration Office
C/ Talamanca, 10, 28807 Alcala de Henares (Madrid), Spain
Telephone: +34 91 883 12 64, Fax: +34 91 883 13 01
e-mail: info@escuelai.com

Cities in Spain
Salamanca - a walk
Shopping Salamanca
Nightlife - Malaga
Places to go - Alcalá
Excursion - Segovia
Excursion - Siguenza
Trip to Matavenero
Celebrations / Events
Semana Cervantina
Carnival in Spain
April Fair-Sevilla
San Isidro in Madrid
Fiesta del Pilar
Alcalá Film Festival
Christmas in Spain
Spanish Christmas carols
Picasso Museum
Flamenco in Malaga
Cervantes in Alcalá