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!
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.
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.
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!
Adios Amigos! Ontonew adventures……