Segovia, home to many great things such as the great pig dish Cochinillo, the cathedral in which Queen Isabella was Crowned, and it is even said that Walt Disney got his inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle form the Alcázar of Segovia. This past Friday the Accent team of Madrid took us on an excursion to this ancient city where we explored the ancient city with our tour guide and even experienced the famous local cuisine.
Throughout the ages Segovia has had many different inhabitants. Similarly to Toledo, was originally founded by the Celts and was later used as a Roman Stronghold because of its strategic placement before its later domination by the Visigoths and the Moors. After it fell to the Christians in the 11th century Segovia became one of the most illustrious cities in the entire Iberian Peninsula. Between the many different civilizations who occupied Segovia the ones that stick out the most by far are the Romans and the Christians.
The Romans referred to Segovia as Segobriga meaning city fortress. Every city fortress needs two things to survive, 1. a castle 2. water & food. The Romans got the water part down without a doubt by building an aqueduct that brought water from a mountain river 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) to the east. The aqueduct was made out of 20,400 free standing stones with no mortar (or glue). Only the pressure of the stones hold the entire aqueduct together. Though this might make the aqueduct sound fragile it has has actually withstood sieges, earthquakes and even hurricanes!
Another intense landmark in Segovia is the Alcázar. This is where Isabella of Castile first met Ferdinand of Aragon and thus began the royal partnership which united the two great kingdoms of Spain and signaled the dawn of one of the most important periods in the history of the country. The Alcázar is also the location where Isabella gave Christopher Columbus the funds for his expedition to the Americas which led to making Spain the world’s dominant power.
Lastly, the final piece to what every city fortress needs – food! On our adventure we stumbled upon the most highly recommended restaurant in town known for its main dish el cochinillo or The Little Pig. The dish is named after exactly what it is, a small pig served to perfection. Before trying the dish myself I was told by the locals that the meat of the pig is so perfect that in old times the chefs would cut it right in front of their customers with a plate instead of a knife in order to show just how perfect the meat was. After trying it myself I must say that it was the best 30 dollar plate I ever had.