Highlights of this tour
- La Granja Palace
- Roman Aquaduct
- Cathedral of Segovia
- Alcázar of Segovia
During this full-day La Granja and Segovia tour, you visit two historical sites in Spain. The tour starts at your hotel in Madrid, your private guide meets you in the morning and together you drive to the province of Segovia, around 80 kilometers (50 miles) to the north of Spain. Your first stop is at The Royal Palace of la Granja de San Ildefonso. In the afternoon you visit Segovia, one of the most historic cities in Spain.
After approximately a one-hour drive, you arrive at the small town of San Ildefonso, where the palace of la Granja is situated. You visit this grand palace, with its spectacular gardens and the fountains. King Philip V had the manor built in 1721 as a palace for leisure and quiet retreat. When he resigned in 1724, his intention was to retreat in the palace. However, that same year, his successor king Louis I died. Therefore, Philip V had to return to the throne.
Because of this, the palace became an important place for the king, his ministers, and politics. Furthermore, La Granja de San Ildefonso served as a summer residence of several kings and queens of Spain. Today, the palace is open as a public museum. The palace and the gardens are built in a French Baroque style. From the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains, you have a beautiful view. French architects designed the palace, its gardens, and the fountains in the style of Versailles.
La Granja palace is known for, among other things, its impressive French gardens with over 1.500 acres. In the gardens, designed by French architect René Carlier, you find 26 magnificent fountains and a French-style maze. The most central garden of the palace comes down from a small hill and is filled with bronze statues and fountains which have water flowing towards the palace. The sculptures in the garden arrived from Paris and display different scenes from Greek and Roman mythology.
The colors of the exterior stones are softened, and create a beautiful contrast with the dark tiles on the roof of the palace. The inside is very bright, with a lot of light shining through the big windows. Inside you find a variety of family portraits, religious paintings, still life paintings, mirrors, chandeliers, and porcelain.
Your second stop this day is Segovia, one of the most historic sites in Spain. This city offers a vast collection of historical monuments. Furthermore, Segovia is one of the Spanish cities with the most churches. During this city tour, you see the roman aqueduct, the Alcázar of Segovia, and the last built Gothic Cathedral of Spain, namely The Cathedral of Segovia. Before the visits, your guide will advise a good local place for lunch (not included).
In the old town of Segovia, you find a Roman aqueduct. One of the best-preserved Roman aqueducts and one of the most important architectural landmarks of the city. This impressive, still in excellent condition, aqueduct used to transport water from the Rio Frio river to the town. The conduit begins near the Palace of La Granja, which you visited in the morning, and is 15 kilometers (9 miles) long. The aqueduct is estimated to be over 2000 years old, as it cannot be precisely determined when the construction was created.
After the Roman Aqueduct, you continue to The Cathedral of Segovia, the last gothic cathedral built in Spain. The church is located at the main square of Segovia and constructed between 1525 and 1577. With its beauty, elegance, and a height of almost 90 meters, it is considered a masterpiece of Basque-Castilian Gothic architecture. The cathedral is also referred to as “The Lady of Cathedrals.” Inside the church, you see the 16th century stained glass windows and an impressive altarpiece.
You continue the La Granja and Segovia tour with a visit to Alcázar of Segovia. A deep drawbridge gives access to this medieval Gothic castle. The Alcázar was originally built as a fortress. However, over time, it has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College, and a military academy. Besides all these functions, it was one of the favorite residences of the king of Castile. Currently, the building is open to the public as a museum and a military archive building. Furthermore, from the castle, you have splendid views over the Pinarello, Zamarramala, and the Church of Vera Cruz.
After you visited both historical places, your private guide takes you back to Madrid and drops you off at your hotel.
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