The Alcazar de Segovia or the Castle of Segovia is a stone fortress located in the old city of Segovia, Spain. It is a unique fortification located at the confluence of the Clamores and Esrema rivers near the Guadarrama Mountains.
The fact that it was built on top of granite rock and is located in its geographical position is a testament to its initial military status. Indeed the name Alcazar is a term from the Arabic language that means palace or royal residence. Alcazar of Segovia, therefore, translates to a palace or a royal residence of Segovia. The fort hover has constantly changed residents from being used originally as a fortress, later to be used as a royal palace, seat of parliament, state prison, Artillery College and Military Academy. It is one of the most well-known palace-castles in Spain especially due to its distinctive ship shaped bow.
Table of Contents
- 1 Frequently Asked Questions
- 2 Early History of Segovia Palace
- 3 Alcazar of Segovia in Current Times
- 4 Interesting Facts About Alcazar de Segovia
- 5 Visiting Alzacar de Segovia – Tips and Tricks
- 5.1 How to get to Alcazar of Segovia?
- 5.2 Ticket Prices, Visiting Hours & Travel Tips
Segovia castle with its sharp spires were one of few that inspired Walt Disney to create the iconic fairytale castle look instantly recognized by kids and adults all over the world to this day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Castle of Segovia Located?
The fort can be found in the old Spanish city of Segovia. It is a unique palace that is perched on the Guadarrama Mountains at the confluence of the Esrema and the Clamores rivers.
When was the Castle of Segovia Built? Who Build It?
Construction of the Alcazar officially started in the year 1120 just shortly after it was recaptured by the Emperor Alphonso VI. Works continued through the years until it was finally finished during the reign of emperor Alphonso VIII after which it served as his royal residence.
When is The Best Time to Visit the Castle?
You can visit the Alcazar at any time of the year without restrictions, the best time to visit is in autumn when the temperatures are lower and it’s not too hot.
What Other Monuments are Located Nearby?
You can visit Monumento a los Héroes del 2 de Mayo, Monument Candido, Mesonero Mayor De Castilla, the Cathedral of Segovia and the Monumento a Juan Bravo. Don’t forget to visit the old city of Segovia too.
FOR HISTORY | BEAUTIFUL IMAGES | INTERESTING FACTS | TICKET PRICES
Early History of Segovia Palace
Like many castles in Spain, the Alcazar of Segovia started as a wooden Arab fort built over Roman foundations. After its capture by Emperor Alphonso VI in 1120, the work started in order to make it the stone fortress as it is today. The first phase was subsequently concluded during the reign of Alphonse VII who made it his permanent residence.
Over the years the palace became the seat of the royals of the Castile Kingdom and the Transtamara dynasty. In the 13th century, additions were made by Spanish architects working for Henry IV and John II to give it a Gothic air.
The last architectural phase happened in 1587 and was executed by architect Fransisco de Morar in conjunction with Juan de Herera. They added the Escuelo de Honor building, royal courtyard and the sharp spires we see today.
Revisit More Historic Places Below or Read Further
Alcazar of Segovia in Current Times
In 1862 the castle’s roof and framework were badly damaged by fire when it served as a Royal Artillery School. It was only in
Today the Castle of Segovia is one of the most famous monuments in the city of Segovia as well as the whole of Spain.
Interesting Facts About Alcazar de Segovia
- The fort with its sharp spires was one of the castles that inspired the Walt Disney castles that can be found around the world as well as seen in their movies.
- It has secret passages that connect to the adjacent rivers.
- In 1474 Isabella was crowned here as the Queen of Castle and Leon.
- A fire destroyed part of it in 1862.
- It is built on top of granite rock.
Visiting Alzacar de Segovia – Tips and Tricks
Planning to visit this monument? We have gathered helpful information that will make your planning and journey easier! Read it below to make sure you’re ready for the best experience instead of unexpected setbacks.
How to get to Alcazar of Segovia?
Fortunately, it is located very conveniently, only about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Madrid, the capital of Spain, and is easily accessible by multiple means of transportation.
Visiting by Vehicle
If you are renting a car during your visit in Spain, it’s a no brainer to use it for the trip, especially if you want to visit other nearby places while having full flexibility of your time. It will take you around 1 hour and a half to reach the fortress by vehicle from Madrid.
Travelling by Train
If you don’t have a car, traveling by train is most probably your best bet. It is very fast and it only takes around 30 minutes to reach the city of Segovia. You can depart from Madrid’s Chamartín train station and arrive at Guiomar AVE station, from which you will need to take a bus or a guided tour to reach the actual castle since the train station is located outside the city of Segovia.
- AVE Trains run every hour seven days a week from Madrid to Segovia
- One-way ticket costs for an adult (26-59) vary from 14 to 24 euros (from $18 to $32 USD) depending on the time of the day.
- Approximate journey time: half an hour.
Visiting by Bus
Probably least convenient but still effective way to the castle is by bus. It is cheaper than the train, however, it will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there. At the time of writing a one-way ticket for an adult costs around 4 euros (5 USD). You should start your journey at Moncloa station (look at the map below) to catch your bus.
- Multiple buses run seven days a week from early morning.
- One-way ticket price: 4 euros (5 US dollars).
- Approximate journey time: 1 hr 30 mins.
Moncloa Bus Station on a map:
Ticket Prices, Visiting Hours & Travel Tips
Information was checked & updated on October 3, 2023.
The tickets have many options from full entry to partial access. The most expensive ticket with full access to various parts of the monument is priced at 10 euros ($12 US dollars). Other tickets include various exceptions and reduced-price rates with limited access. For instance, if you’d like to climb 152 steps to the Tower of Juan II you’d have to buy a full access ticket, otherwise, the tower is excluded from other ticket options. Your best bet is to visit the official website and see the ever-changing options and prices for yourself.
Summer season hours (from April 1st to October 31) of operation are from 10 am to 8 pm, and in the winter (from November 1st to March 31) the hours are from 10 am to 6 pm.
Typically, you should allow at least 1 to 2 hours to explore the palace in full and visit the main areas: the rooms, the Artillery Museum, and the Tower of Juan II, if of course, you are capable of walking up the spiral staircase. It would be wise to buy a guided tour around the fortress which lasts around 45 minutes and costs 50 euros ($61 USD) at the time of writing or at least grab a pair of headphones and order an audio guide for a mere 3.50 euros ($4 USD).
Planning to Explore Spain Further?
We have compiled the list of The Best 20 Castles to Visit While in Spain! Most of these are a must-see – take a look!
Some words of advice and tips:
- Make sure your footwear is comfortable as you will have to cover quite some steps on the trip day, especially, if you are looking to explore the city of Segovia and not only the palace.
- One reviewer on Tripadvisors suggests visiting the castle two times – one in a day time and the second one at night. If the weather is good, the night scenery of the castle is simply majestic.
- Instead of aiming only for the Alzacar de Segovia, plan further and add other monuments to your list. The city of Segovia has a lot to offer besides the fortress. We suggest taking a look at some full-day sightseeing tours of Segovia on Tripadvisor.