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The Alc醶ar of Segovia (literally, Segovia Castle) is a stone fortification, located in the old city of Segovia, Spain. Rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of the rivers Eresma and Clamores near the Guadarrama mountains, it is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain by virtue of its shape - like the bow of a ship. The Alc醶ar 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 Alc醶ar of Segovia, like many fortifications in Spain, started off as an Arab fort. The first reference to this particular Alc醶ar was in 1120, around 32 years after the city of Segovia returned to Christian hands (during the time when Alfonso VI of Castile reconquered lands to the south of the Duero river down to Toledo and beyond). However, archaeological evidence suggests that the site of this Alc醶ar was once used in Roman times as a fortification. This theory is further substantiated by the presence of Segovia's famous Roman Aqueduct.

The shape and form of the Alc醶ar was not known until the reign of King Alfonso VIII (1155-1214), however early documentation mentioned a wooden stockade fence. It can be concluded that prior to Alfonso VIII's reign, it was no more than a wooden fort built over the old Roman foundations. Alfonso VIII and his wife, Eleanor of Plantagenet made this Alc醶ar their principal residence and much work was carried out to erect the beginnings of the stone fortification we see today.

Source: Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Alfredo Wang (alfhwa) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 34 W: 0 N: 31] (463)
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