In 1884, a Spanish Royal Order gave Spanish Heritage status to the Aqueduct of Segovia; a declaration that was expanded to include the walled old quarter in 1941 and in 1985 UNESCO gave it World Heritage status.
The UNESCO status was given to it in recognition that “Segovia is symbolic of a complex, historical reality. Moors, Christians, and Jews coexisted for a long period of time in the mediaeval city and worked together” – it is ” a prime example of the coexistence of different cultural communities throughout time”.
Indeed the very history of Segovia is written stone by stone. On the ground now occupied by the Alcázar fortress once stood a Celtiberian settlement, until the arrival of the Roman legions 2,000 years ago.
It was the Romans that built Segovia as an important town and fortress and who left it it´s famous Aqueduct – the best-preserved Roman construction in Spain.
With the fall of the Roman Empire, the Iberian Peninsular was invaded by the Visigoths – one of many Germanic tribes that peoples that brought the empire to an end in the 5th century AD.
The Visigoths settled and thrived – keeping the Roman buildings intacts as well as adding their own – much of which can be seen in the city´s museum.
The invasion of the Peninsular by the Arab and Berber armies in 711 brought down the Visigoth kingdoms within a short period and by the 720s the Moorish armies had advanced as far north as modern day southern France, where their advance was halted by the Frankish army of Charles Martel.
It was the Moors under the Almoravid dynasty, who built the city´s famous Alcazar ( fortress) as well as its city walls though it is believed that the city lost its importance until the Moors too were displaced by the reconquering Alfonso VI of León in the 11th century and Segovia once more began to grow in size and importance. ,
Migratory routes (such as for cattle and sheep) as well as booming trade in wool and textile manufactures gave Segovia into a Golden Age during the Middle Ages, becoming home to a sizeable Jewish community as well as a Royal court. Indeed, Queen Isabella was proclaimed Queen of Castile at the Church of San Miguel in Segovia in 1474.
As the economic centre of Spain moved south following the discovery of America. Segovia began to to lose much of its importance but still remaining a small market town and regional trading centre.