On Friday our group took an excursion to La Granja, a pueblo very close to the city of Segovia (only took 15 minutes to get there via public bus transportation). We visited Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefenso, a royal palace constructed in the 18th century that served as a summer home for kings. The palace itself was gorgeous, but again we couldn’t take pictures inside. We toured the museum, which is housed inside the palace and has a huge collection of art.
I learned that the difference between a palace (Palacio Real) and a castle (Alcázar, for example) has to do with when it was constructed and the purpose. Royalty lived in both the palaces and the castles in Spain, but the castles were constructed in earlier centuries and were fortified for defense purposes. Palaces are more recent and were mainly designed for comfort and luxury.
My favorite part of the excursion occurred after lunch, when we toured the gardens of Palacio Real. This palace and its grounds were modeled after Versailles in France.
There were gorgeous flowers, ornate statues, and beautiful fountains everywhere. It was a beautiful day to explore, and we got some great pictures of the scenery!
We hiked around a little bit, and this view reminded me of Colorado in the summertime. Breathtaking!
The grounds of the palace have a really neat labyrinth (i.e., maze). The professor showing us the grounds, Edu, took us to the center of the maze and had us walk around it three times and then find our way out.
The entire time I was exploring the garden, I could almost hear my mom saying “awwww look at the pretty flowers!” Mom, I know you would’ve loved it, so I took lots of pictures for you!
I can’t believe I only have a week left here in Segovia! The summer has definitely flown. Tomorrow we’re going on excursion to Madrid to see two museums. Other than that, I’m busy getting ready for exams and final papers in my two classes, and making sure I get to do everything I want to in Segovia!