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January 1, 2013
Alcázar of Segovia
The Alcázar of Segovia (literally, Segovia Castle) is a palace and a fortress of Spanish kings in the in the historic district of Segovia city, Spain. The castle is situated on a cliff, located at the confluence of the rivers Eresma and Klamores, near the Guadarrama mountains (part of the Cordillera Central). The Alcázar is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain by virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship. It was originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then. The castle is one of the inspirations for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle.
The Alcázar of
Segovia, like many fortifications in Spain, started off as an Arab fort, which
itself was built on a Roman fort but little of that structure remains. The
oldest testimony we have of the Alcázar is a document dating from the early
days of the 12th century (1122), a short time after the town had been
recaptured by Alfonso VI
of León and Castile, which refers to the fortress as a hill-fort on the
Eresma. A short time later, in a letter of 1155, it was already being referred
to as "Alcázar". However, it is more than probable that the fortress
had existed in earlier times, possibly since the Roman occupation, because
granite blocks similar to those of the Aqueduct have been found in the course
of recent excavations.