Palace, La Granja de San Ildefonso View slideshowSeveral villages outside of Segovia feature churches, palaces and gardens of note. Numerous castles are also to be found beyond the boundaries of the city.
Santa Maria la Real de Nieva, Spain
C 605 runs northwest from Segovia to Santa María la Real de Nieva (28km/17mi), with a church which has a particularly beautiful cloister.
N 110 leads southwest from Segovia to the major junction with N VI, just beyond which is Villacastín (alt. 1,040m/3,412ft). This little town on the western slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama has old mansions and a notable parish church (15th-17th C.) with two fine retablos and a number of tombs.
La Granja de San Ildefonso, Spain
N 601, going southeast from Segovia into the Sierra de Guadarrama, comes in 11km/7mi to the little town of San Ildefonso (alt. 1,040m/ 3,412ft), a favorite resort of the people of Madrid, particularly at weekends. The town, beautifully situated at the foot of the massive peak of Peñalara, grew up around a monastic grange (granja) and hospice. In the early 18th century Philip V chose San Ildefonso, with its good air, as the site of a palace modeled on Louis XIV's Versailles which was built between 1721 and 1739.
San Ildefonso - Palace
Visitors approach the palace from its rear front, which is dominated by the imposing palace church. A conducted tour of the palace takes in the Throne Room and other apartments which have superb Flemish, French and Spanish tapestries. In the church is the red marble tomb of Philip V and his wife Isabella Farnese.
Address: Plaza de España 17, E-40100 La Granja de San Ildefonso, Spain
The beautiful gardens below the main front of the palace, reached by way of the magnificent Grand Cascade, were designed by the French landscape architects Etienne Boutelou and René Carlier. Framed in old trees, the gardens are filled with an extraordinary profusion and variety of fountains and sculpture, mostly the work of René Fremin and Jean Fermy. Round almost every corner visitors will encounter another lively allegorical group.
The whole complex of fountains makes an impressive display. They are turned on only at Easter and on May 30th, July 25th and August 25th.
Displayed in several rooms throughout the palace are tapestries of the Royal Collection as assembled primarily by Philip V.Notable works include "The Honors" and the "Apocalypse" series, by Pierre van Aelst.
Jardines de la Granja
15km/9mi beyond Turégano on C 603 lies Cantalejo, 24km/15mi north of which is Fuentidueña, with the ruins of two Romanesque churches and a formidable castle.
From Sepúlveda follow SG 233 southwest towards Pedraza. At the road junction known as the Cuatro Carreteras a road goes off on the left to Castilnovo (12th-15th C.), originally a Moorish stronghold.
Fiestas de Santa Agueda, Zamarramala, Spain
Every year the village of Zamarramala holds celebrations in honor of Santa Agueda.
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