Segovia

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Segovia
Municipality
250px
View of the façade of the Segovia Cathedral, the ancient City Walls (8th century), and the Guadarrama mountains.

Flag

Coat of arms
Location of Segovia in Spain
Segovia is located in Spain
Segovia
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 40°57′N 4°10′W / 40.950°N 4.167°W / 40.950; -4.167Coordinates: 40°57′N 4°10′W / 40.950°N 4.167°W / 40.950; -4.167
Country Spain
Autonomous communityTemplate:Country data Castilla and León
ProvinceSegovia
ComarcaCapital y Área Metropolitana
Judicial districtPartido de Segovia
Government
 • AlcaldePedro Arahuetes García (PSOE)
Area
 • Total163.59 km2 (63.16 sq mi)
Elevation1,000 m (3,000 ft)
Population (2009)
 • Total56,660
 • Density350/km2 (900/sq mi)
DemonymSegoviano, na
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code40001-40006
Official language(s)Spanish
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Segovia
Municipality
250px
View of the façade of the Segovia Cathedral, the ancient City Walls (8th century), and the Guadarrama mountains.

Flag

Coat of arms
Location of Segovia in Spain
Segovia is located in Spain
Segovia
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 40°57′N 4°10′W / 40.950°N 4.167°W / 40.950; -4.167Coordinates: 40°57′N 4°10′W / 40.950°N 4.167°W / 40.950; -4.167
Country Spain
Autonomous communityTemplate:Country data Castilla and León
ProvinceSegovia
ComarcaCapital y Área Metropolitana
Judicial districtPartido de Segovia
Government
 • AlcaldePedro Arahuetes García (PSOE)
Area
 • Total163.59 km2 (63.16 sq mi)
Elevation1,000 m (3,000 ft)
Population (2009)
 • Total56,660
 • Density350/km2 (900/sq mi)
DemonymSegoviano, na
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code40001-40006
Official language(s)Spanish
WebsiteOfficial website

Segovia (Spanish pronunciation: [seˈɣoβja]) is a city in the autonomous region of Castile and León, Spain. It is the capital of Segovia Province.

Etymology[edit]

The name of Segovia is of Celtiberian origin. The first inhabitants named the city Segobriga. This name comes from two terms of the Celtiberian language of the Celtic branch of Indo-European. The term Sego means «victory» (the prefix is also present in other city names such as Segeda and Segontia, cf. German "Sieg") and the suffix -briga would mean «city» or «strength». So the name might be translated as "City of the victory" or "Victorious city".

Under the Romans and Arabs, the city was called Segovia (Σεγουβία, Ptolomeo ii. 6. § 56) and Šiqūbiyyah (Arabic شقوبية) respectively.

Geography[edit]

Location[edit]

Aerial view showing part of the city.

Segovia is located within the Iberian Peninsula, near Valladolid and the Spanish capital, Madrid.

Segovia is one of nine provinces that make up the autonomous region of Castile and León. It is neighboured by Burgos and Valladolid to the north, Ávila to the west, Madrid and Guadalajara to the south and Soria to the east. The altitude of the province varies from 750 metres (2,461 feet) in the extreme northwest to a maximum of 2,430 m (7,972 ft) at Peñalara peak.

The town is part of the main route of the Camino de Santiago de Madrid.

Climate[edit]

The climate is continental Mediterranean, cold and dry, resulting from the high altitude and the distance from the coast. The average annual temperature is 11.5 °C (52.7 °F), with an absolute minimum in December of −14 °C (6.8 °F) and maximum in August of 39 °C (102.2 °F). The annual precipitation is 520 mm (20 inches) per year, making the province a damp corner in the context of the region. The predominant forms of vegetation in the mountainous areas include pine, evergreen, oak, beech and juniper.

History[edit]

The Segovia Cathedral as seen from the air.
San Andrés Gate.

Segovia was first recorded as a Celtic possession, with control eventually transferring into the hands of the Romans. The city is a possible site of the battle in 75 BCE where Metellus was victorious over the general of Sertorius, Hirtuleius. Hirtuleius died in the fighting.[1]

During the Roman period the settlement belonged to one of numerous contemporary Latin convents. It is believed that the city was abandoned after the Islamic invasion of Spain centuries later. After the conquest of Toledo by Alfonso VI of León and Castile, the son of King Alfonso VI, Segovia began restocking with Christians from the north of the peninsula and beyond the Pyrenees, providing it with a significant sphere of influence whose boundaries crossed the Sierra de Guadarrama and the Tagus.

Segovia's position on trading routes made it an important center of trade in wool and textiles. The end of the Middle Ages saw something of a golden age for Segovia, with a growing Jewish population and the creation of a foundation for a powerful cloth industry. Several splendid works of Gothic architecture were also completed during this period. Notably, Isabella I was proclaimed queen of Castile in the church of San Miguel de Segovia on December 13, 1474.

Like most Castilian textile centers, Segovia joined the Revolt of the Comuneros under the command of Juan Bravo. Despite the defeat of the Communities, the city's resultant economic boom continued into the sixteenth century, its population rising to 27,000 in 1594. Then, as well as almost all the cities of Castile, Segovia entered a period of decline. Only a century later in 1694, the population had been reduced to only 8,000 inhabitants. In the early eighteenth century, Segovia attempted to revitalize its textile industry, with little success. In the second half of the century, Charles III made another attempt to revive the region's commerce; it took the form of the Royal Segovian Wool Manufacturing Company (1763). However, the lack of competitiveness of production caused the crown withdraw its sponsorship in 1779. In 1764, the Royal School of Artillery, the first military academy in Spain, was opened. This academy remains present in the city today. In 1808, Segovia was sacked by French troops during the War of Independence. During the First Carlist War, troops under the command of Don Carlos unsuccessfully attacked the city. During the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, Segovia experienced a demographic recovery that was the result of relative economic stability.

Demographics[edit]

The population growth experienced during the nineteenth century accelerated steadily beginning around 1920: 16,013 inhabitants that year, 33,360 in 1960, 53,237 in 1981. Since the 1980s growth has slowed markedly: 55,586 in 2004 and 56,047 in 2007.

Heritage[edit]

World Heritage City[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
TypeCultural
Criteriai, iii, iv
Reference311
UNESCO regionEurope and North America
Inscription history
Inscription1985 (9th Session)

In 1985 the old city of Segovia and its Aqueduct were declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Within the environment of the old city, stand diversity of historic buildings both civil and religious, not just catholics but also Jews, like the district that served this minority, which commemorates the different cultures in the city. One of the best examples of this cultural diversity is represented by the former synagogue, now the church of Corpus, and the Jewish cemetery located in "El Pinarillo" with its interpretation center in the most important Jewish palace of the Spanish aljamas, the chief accountant Meir Melamed, son-in-law and successor of Abraham Senior, chief rabbi of the Kingdom of Castile, Melamed after converting to Christianity under the name of Fernán Núñez Coronel, was alderman of the city and occupied important positions in the kingdom. Among its monuments are:

The Aqueduct of Segovia, located in the much-visited Plaza del Azoguejo, is the defining historical feature of the city, dating from the late 1st or early 2nd century.[2] Acknowledged as the most important Roman civil engineering work in Spain, it consists of about 25,000 granite blocks held together without any mortar, and spans 818 meters with more than 170 arches, the highest being 29 meters high.

The Alcazar of Segovia, the royal palace located on top of a rock between the rivers Eresma and Clamores, is documented for the first time in 1122, although it may exist in earlier time. It was one of the favorite residences of the kings of Castile, built in the transition from Romanesque to Gothic and Mudéjar decor highlighting its ample rooms. The building is structured around two courtyards and has two towers, the Keep and John II. It was a favorite residence of Alfonso X the Wise and Henry IV, and Isabella the Catholic left him to be crowned Queen of Castile in the main square. Devastated by fire in 1862, was later rebuilt. Now houses the General Militar de Segovia archive and museum of the Royal School of Artillery, managed by the Board of the Alcazar.

Segovia Cathedral as seen from the Alcazar.

The Segovia Cathedral is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain. It is considered the masterpiece of Basque-Castilian Gothic and is known as "The Lady of Cathedrals." This is the third largest cathedral in the city,[citation needed] and retains the cloister of the second, located opposite the castle and destroyed during the Revolt of the Comuneros in 1520. In his works he worked Juan and Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón, and other teachers of Spanish architecture. It was consecrated in 1768 and has dimensions of 105 meters long, 50 meters wide and 33 high in the nave, has 18 chapels and has three doors: El Perdón, San Frutos and San Geroteo, first bishop of the diocese.

The Walls of Segovia existed when Alfonso VI of León and Castile took the city to the Arabs, who commanded a larger coming to have a perimeter of 3 kilometers, eighty towers, five doors and several doors. It was built mainly with granite blocks, but also reused gravestones of the Roman necropolis. The wall runs along the old, and currently maintains three doors: San Cebrián, of great austerity, Santiago, of Mudéjar looking, and San Andrés, gateway to the Jewish quarter, and the breaches of Consuelo, San Juan, the Sun and Moon.

Religious architecture[edit]

Iglesia de San Esteban
Old main synagogue

The city maintains an important collection of Romanesque churches of both stone and brick, which include San Esteban, San Millán, San Martín, la Santísima Trinidad, San Andrés, San Clemente, Santos Justo y Pastor, la Vera Cruz and San Salvador and others . It also retains many convents and monasteries such as San Antonio el Real, del Parral or San Vicente el Real.

The Old main synagogue is a remainder of Jewish Segovia.

Civil architecture[edit]

Urban sculpture[edit]

Loba Capitolina at the foot of the aqueduct.

Urban Sculpture in Segovia stars works depicting illustrious figures linked to the city, which wanted to pay tribute in this way, but we can also find several pictures of a religious nature. One of the most iconic sculptures of the Loba Capitolina sits in front of the aqueduct. A copy of the Capitoline wolf is preserved in the Capitoline Museum and was a gift that Rome gave to the city in 1974 during the events of the bimillennial anniversary of the aqueduct.

In the Plaza de la Merced could be seen until a few decades ago a monument dedicated to the artist Daniel Zuloaga installed in 1924, now located in the Plaza de Colmenares. Currently located in the center of the Plaza de la Merced, looking towards the church of San Andrés is a bust of the poet Rubén Darío, sculptor Santiago de Santiago, which was donated by the Nicaragua government to the city in 1973. Letters related to the bust are also found in the Promenade Lounge, the famous poet José Rodas was first installed in 1927 in the plaza of the gardens, and moved to its present site in 1960 by the segovian sculptor Aniceto Marinas. It could not miss this literary group a tribute to Antonio Machado, poet Segovia made his refuge from 1919 to 1932, the sculpture as it could be otherwise is located in the garden of his home museum, and was done by Emiliano Barral.

Religious figures such as Domingo de Soto, Pius XII, Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Saint John of the Cross have their place within the city urban sculpture, the first work of Ortega and the rest of José María García Moro, sculptor prosperous Segovia who must also be a Monument to the Youth located in the Plaza del Conde de Cheste. Other teachers who also paid tribute to his work a few peasants have been both recognized in any street or town square, as is the case for Aniceto Marinas, who dedicated a monument in 1943 his friend and partner Mariano Benlliure.

In the field of arms found the monument to Daoíz and Velarde, Aniceto Marinas work. By the same author is the List of people associated with the comunero Juan Bravo sculpture, made in 1921 and located in the heart of the city in the Square of the Sirens, the name given to two statues that top the stairs and representing these mythological beings, made by Francisco Bellver in 1852. Other sculptures in the city are devoted to medical Andrés Laguna made by the segovian Florentino Trapero and marina located in Plaza de los Huertos, the bust of Lope de la Calle Martín, president of the Provincial council that made Emiliano Barral and can be seen in the square of San Facundo or the monument "El Favorito", by Toribio García de Andrés in the early of 20th century.

In addition to this series of monuments and sculptures are hidden in the corners of the city some other religious images that are worth mentioning. The most significant of these is the Virgin of the Aqueduct, located in the central niche of the monument has since the Plaza del Azoguejo and it was already in the 16th century, as remember Colmenares in his history of Segovia. The cast of virgins are also members of the Fuencisla in Velarde street, the los Remedios in front of San Juan Gate, the Socorro at the San Andrés Gate or del Carmen on the street of its own name, among others.

Parks and gardens[edit]

Alcazar Gardens.
Plaza de la Artillería

Economy[edit]

The economy of Segovia revolves around metallurgy, agriculture, furniture, construction and, particularly, tourism. The town itself plays host to thousands of day-visitors from Madrid each year.

Education[edit]

The city of Segovia is home to a large number of primary schools and secondary schools, the oldest of which (IES Mariano Quintanilla, founded in 1845) having been officially declared "of cultural interest." A high proportion of the student population attends state primary and secondary schools, while private schooling in Segovia is mostly religious in nature.

Regarding higher education, Segovia's premier institution is IE University, a business-oriented undergraduate university, building upon Instituto Empresa's successful MBA program at Madrid-based IE Business School. Also present is the Segovia campus of the University of Valladolid, offering entrance into careers in computer engineering, law, journalism, advertising and teaching. I

Culture[edit]

Museums[edit]

MUCES[edit]

MUCES is the Spanish acronym to The City of Segovia Festival of European Cinema, an annual film festival which takes place in the city since 2006, usually in November. It gives the wider public a chance to get to know quality European cinema and, above all, it offers the general public an opportunity to see European films which have not yet been commercially screened in Spain, but have been very successful with critics and audiences in their own countries.[3]

Festivities[edit]

Facade of the Cathedral night view.

Holy Week[edit]

Segovia has 10 fraternities, which are:

Famous people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ From the Gracchi to Nero, H. H. Scullard, p 91 however Philip Spann disagreed - Quintus Sertorius and the Legacy of Sulla, p110
  2. ^ "Arquitectura romana: Acueducto de Segovia". Historia de la Arquitectura en España. Retrieved 22 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "MUCES. The City of Segovia Festival of European Cinema". Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?letter=S&artid=474
  5. ^ "Tucson Sister Cities". Interactive City Directory. Sister Cities International. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Segovia at Wikimedia Commons