What may have been just your HOLIDAY VILLAS IN SPAIN, but don't all dreams have a way of coming true? Walt Disney, Christopher Columbus, a royal palace, a state prison, an artillery college and a military academy all have one thing in common. The Alcazar of Segovia, a magnificent fortress, was first established during the reign of King Alfonso VIII when a wooden fortress, built on top of a possible Muslim fortress. Alfonso VIII and his wife Eleanor of Plantagenet moved into the fortress and made it their principal residence. They immediately commenced to construct the buildings that can be seen today.

The town of Segovia was once controlled by the Celts until they handed it over to the Romans, who immediately began work on irrigation along with other buildings. The Aqueduct that still stands in town is testament to the engineering ingenuity of the Romans, but more of that in another article. It’s believed that when the Moors arrived, taking control of most of the Iberian Peninsula, the town of Segovia was seemingly abandoned. Alfonso VI of Castile reconquered the lands south of Rio Duero and beyond Toledo around 1088, returning the area to Christian control. The town of Segovia restocked by Christians and Jews from the north. As the years passed, the stone fortress of Alcazar became a favourite of many monarchs of Castile and an important fortress for the defence of the region.

After a cave in, parts of the fortress had to be rebuilt so King Alfonso X of Castile set about the task. A large part of the reconstruction included the building of the Hall of Kings for use by Parliament. King John II during his reign in the 13th century had the East tower modified and enlarged to twice its original size. Architects gave it a gothic appearance and the tower is now known as Tower of John II. Most of the original building and design was done during the Middle Ages. The profile of the fortress resembles a ship from a distance, standing proud on top of the hill overlooking Segovia.

The Alcazar was the fortress which saw the coronation of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1474 and was also where she married Ferdinand II. As mentioned earlier Christopher Columbus was promised money by the queen before heading out on his discoveries in the same castle. In 1587 King Philip II, after marrying Anna of Austria, added the sharp slate spires similar to other castles in central Europe. The architect Franciso de Morar completed the gardens and the School of Honor around the same time. The Alcazar was later turned into a state prison when the court and parliament eventually moved to Madrid. In 1762 nearly two centuries later, King Charles III founded the Royal Artillery School here. One hundred years after that on 6th March 1862, a fire badly damaged the roofs and most of the framework. The fortress was slowly restored over the next 20 years back to its original state, and King Alfonso XIII handed the Alcazar over to the Ministry of War to be used as a military college.

As a tourist looking over the fortress today it is easy to see how Walt Disney had seen the castle and took the idea of its towers for the design of his own Cinderella castle. The Alcazar is one of Spain's three most popular attractions and houses many works of art. Go and take a peek at someone's dream castle and see if your HOLIDAY VILLAS IN SPAIN is what you can turn into your fortress.

Author's Bio: 

Travel writer writing especially about my adopted home of Spain for Akilar.com providing Holiday Rentals from the OWNERS DIRECT.