Segovia’s rich culture and history earned it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Here are just five of the many charms that make this city one of the top destinations for tourists from all over the world.
Post updated: 25th of March 2022
Segovia is famously one of the most beautiful cities in the entire Iberian Peninsula. Although its cozy population reaches just over 50,000 inhabitants, the city’s rich history and architecture draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Segovia is also one of two cities (along with Madrid) that IE University is proud to call home. Here you have our top five can’t-miss spots to explore in this picturesque medieval city:
The Roman Aqueduct
It’s no surprise that this ancient work of architecture and engineering tops the list—the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia is inarguably the city’s most famous feature. This massive structure spans the length of the city from east to west at an impressive length of 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). Built between the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., the aqueduct brought clean, drinkable water to the city until the beginning of the mid-19th century. The most amazing fact about the aqueduct? There is no cement nor any other adhesive substances that hold the stones together!
Cathedral of Segovia
Known as the “Lady of all Cathedrals,” the 16th-century gothic-style Cathedral of Saint Mary of Segovia is the most iconic monument in the historic part of the city. The bell tower, at 85 meters (279 feet) high, was the highest tower in all of Spain at the time of its construction, but it was destroyed by a fire and replaced by a stone spire in 1614. Today, the cathedral with its 23 chapels attracts thousands of visitors each year, and during Spain’s Holy Week (Easter) it becomes one of the most visited sites in the country.
Nicknamed the “fairy tale castle” by locals, the unique architecture of the Alcazar Castle dominates the Segovian skyline. Built around the 12th century and declared a royal residence in the 13th century, it quickly became known as one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. It’s even believed to have been the inspiration behind the Disney castle. With its tall towers and magical, well-kept gardens, the Alcazar is the perfect place to live a real-life fairy tale.
Royal Mint of Segovia (Casa de la Moneda)
Built in the late 16th century by order of King Philip II, the Royal Mint of Segovia is considered to be the oldest piece of industrial architecture in the entire country. It is also the first mechanized mint in Spain, as well as the first to belong to the monarchy. The mint was in operation from 1586 to 1869 and still preserves the original 16th-century wooden hydraulic system, which is open for visitors in the building’s exterior. Today, the mint also houses the Aqueduct Interpretation Center, a multimedia area where visitors can learn more about the city’s most famous piece of ancient history.
Convent of Santa Cruz la Real
Did you know that IE University’s Segovia campus is housed in one of the city’s most iconic sites? Every day our students walk the halls of the Convent of Santa Cruz la Real, a work of architecture dating back to the 13th century. A monastery for most of its history, this building also served briefly as a nursing home and later an orphanage during the 17th century. The end of the 19th century saw the structure empty, and it was later damaged in a series of fires. A lot of love and care has been put into restoring this historical building while respecting the original architecture, so IE University students can live and breathe the history of the place as they attend classes, study and prepare for their dynamic future careers.
There you have it! And these five destinations are just the start—there is so much more to explore. Whether you have the opportunity to live in Segovia as you study with us, or if you’re just catching a high-speed train in from Madrid for the weekend, it won’t be long till you find yourself falling in love with this enchanting city.