Another day, another castle, another beautiful city- on day 6, we made our way into Segovia.
On the way from Madrid to Segovia, our bus made a stop at one of the most astonishing and important buildings in all of Spain: the tomb of the fascist dictator during the Spanish-American War, Francisco Franco. There were so many surreal things to be seen at his tomb, but a few certainly stuck out to me.
Francisco Franco forced a plethora of his slaves to build him a tomb for his remembrance. These slaves were forced to build not only the entire tomb, but also forced to haul stones up a mountain to build a giant cross in his honor. Franco also demanded that dead bodies of their enemy soldiers, American soldiers, be buried only a matter of feet away from his own. So, without consent from the soldiers’ families, Franco took American soldiers’ bodies and kept them in a separate room in his tomb. With disgust, I thought about if I were an American during the Spanish- American war and I had a family member, friend, or partner buried, without consent, next to the leader of the army who killed him/ her. There was also a catholic church mass taking place right in the center of the tomb… worshiping Christ in the middle of a tomb of a former fascist dictator is a little out of the usual element, don’t you think? Although surreal and shocking, seeing the tomb of Francisco Franco was definitely worthwhile.
Our first sight in the actual city of Segovia was most definitely one of the most memorable: The First-century Aqueduct. It was so surreal to see in person one of the most innovative and enduring pieces of architecture in all of history, which I learned all about in seventh grade social studies. It seems impossible that something from centuries and centuries ago could still be standing tall and strong… but you know what they say: everything was made better “back then.”
Next, we explored ANOTHER castle. Alcázar de Segovia (translating to Segovia Castle) was used for monarchs throughout the Middle Ages, and most popularly known for Queen Isabella. The only thing not so beautiful about this castle was the walk up the stone, spiral staircase that held 100+ stairs.
This is the beautiful castle of Segovia from the outside. In fact, the design was used as inspiration for Cinderella’s infamous castle.
The interior, however, was nothing short of amazing.
Each of these are representative of a specific leader who ruled in the castle.
After climbing up over 100 stairs, we were exhausted, and definitely eager to get to the top, partially because that meant we had a chance to breathe at ease. But hey- the view was pretty awesome too.
That night, we took a bus ride back to Madrid for dinner and a Flamenco show. The Flamenco show was beautiful and surely a representation of Spanish culture. After a long day, we couldn’t wait to crawl into bed for the usual maximum 5 hours of sleep. The next day was quite the journey for me. We traveled to Toledo (Ohio) and all day I anticipated meeting the family whom I would be living with for the next week… or so I thought.