Stunning Sergovia

It sounds Russian.  Sergovia.  Before coming to Spain, I’d never even heard its name before, but it is one of the oldest cities in Spain!  Just the name itself conjures up the idea of ancient!  Staying with friends in Madrid, they gave us a choice to see Toledo or Sergovia, and as they had been to Toledo recently, we decided on Sergovia, an hour and a half’s drive from Madrid.  The surrounding terrain is dry and scrubby and one catches glimpses of old abandoned farmhouses along the way.  What an amazing opportunity to rescue and restore these dwellings, often very old!  Apparently, many are closed up and abandoned with all the furniture still inside!

The Alcazar
Castle inspiring many Disney princess movies!
Map of the Regions of Spain
“The Wise Man Builds His House Upon The Rock”
external decoration includes imbedded pieces of black volcanic rock
moving along the outside walkway around the fortress, one sees the turret look out points
Internal courtyard of Alcazar
Decorative detail of Alcazar

We didn’t have much time in Sergovia, so after a picnic outside the old Alcazar, we made our way up the narrow Medieval streets to the castle.  It as built on a rocky outcrop up on a hill, on the remains of an old Roman fortress.  Although restoration is underway and there were scaffolding and nets surrounding the building, it is still impressive.  Built in the 14th century, it has a  huge, deep moat (now waterless) and drawbridge and awesome spires and turrets.  One can sense how difficult it would have been for invading armies to penetrate this fortress in the “mudejar” style.

Church near the Alcazar
Nature and ancient walls combine
Tourist shops selling beautiful local pottery
One of many old Churches

The Alcazar is shaped like the bow of a ship and originally served as a fortress, then a royal palace, a state prison for 200 years, a Royal Artillery Academy and is now a military museum with military paraphernalia on show, including armour for horses and troops, and weaponry through the ages.  The surrounding countryside is beautiful, lots of greenery, trees and shrubs.  It must be on the rain lee of all the mountains we shot through, via endless dark tunnels.
Roman Aqueduct
One of the ancient water collection points
Apartment for sale?
Narrow lanes in the old village

Many of the old buildings and cobbled streets of the surrounding village are UNESCO World Heritage sights.  We saw old apartments for sale for €149 and an old convert converted into a modernised-interior hotel.  The exteriors have to be preserved, which is a blessing, and adds to the charm of this ancient village within the city.  We also saw the ancient Roman aqueduct fully preserved, dating back to the first century!  Unbelievable!  It measures 28.5m at it’s highest point, and has 6m of foundations!  There is a 1 degree fall which allowed the water to travel along its 17km from the source to the village, and still a further 15km to surrounding areas!  It was still in use up until the mid 19th century and includes a natural refining filtration system within its structure!

Some of the diverse decorative plaster work on the houses in the old village
Looking down on the Alcazar balcony gardens
Another countryside village as seen from Alcazar
Sumptuous paintings in the fortress
One of the room’s celing lined with sculptures of each of the monarchs from the regions

What an adventure, discovering old Sergovia!  Thank you Maria and Rodrigo!  Gracias!

Adios Amigos!  Onto new adventures……


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