CASTLES OF THE WORLD -ALCAZAR OF SEGOVIAID92930050
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
The Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre presents a new series of collector coins dedicated to the "Castles of the World". It has been difficult to make the selection, taking into account that in Spain alone there are more than 10,000 castles registered, so we have had the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Friends of the Castles for an appropriate choice of castles to represent.
The collection is made up of sixteen coins, which can be purchased individually, as a complete collection and in sets of four coins each.
The obverse side features a colourful reproduction of the Alcázar of Segovia. Its image has travelled around the world: a unique castle with the appearance of a fairytale palace, which brings together the architectural tastes of different monarchs and tells palatial stories to all those who come to see it. Austere, as the Castilian kings were, raised on the rock at the confluence of the Eresma and Clamores valleys, it seems to guard the city.
On the reverse (common to all the coins), within a central circular area, the value of the coin 1.5 EURO appears; to its right, the mint mark; at the bottom, the legend CASTLES OF THE WORLD. An allegory of the structure of the castles surrounds the legends in the central area.
|Series||Castles Of The World|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||5,000|
The Alcazar of Segovia
When it comes to castles, Castile is the place. The Alcazar of Segovia is one of the most emblematic monuments of Spanish medieval military architecture, a jewel among the castles found in the province of Segovia, on a par with Coca Castle. It is one of the most visited monuments in Spain owing to its proximity to the aqueduct and cathedral of Segovia, and the royal palaces and gardens of La Granja de San Ildefonso.
The castle is perched on a rocky spur embraced by the rivers Eresma and Clamores, with the natural moat formed by the meeting of their waters creating the ideal defence. This spur is actually what gives the different structures that make up the castle their characteristic elongated layout.
The origins of the castle date back to Roman times. It started out as an encampment built on the spur and supplied with water by a branch of the famous aqueduct that no longer exists. Little is known about the Visigothic period. The castle began to gain renown in the time of King Alfonso X of Castile. This king, also known as Alfonso the Wise, set up an astronomical observatory in one of its towers, contributing to his reputation as an astrologer.
However, it was the Trastámara dynasty, with Henry II, John II (credited with the construction of the 80-metre high keep) and above all Henry IV, who turned the Alcazar of Segovia into a luxurious residence for the Christian kings, extending and embellishing it to the great amazement of travellers and illustrious figures of the time.
Almost all the kings of Spain have found respite within its walls. Its battlements, towers and parapets stood witness as Isabella I walked out into the Plaza Mayor, the main square of Segovia, to be proclaimed queen of Castile in 1474. The castle’s numerous rooms were visited by Christopher Columbus and the great poet Jorge Manrique. Its many halls hosted the solemn wedding of Philip II and Anna of Austria in 1570.
The Carlist Wars of the 19th century would determine the subsequent use given to the Alcazar of Segovia. However, it was the chance but terrible fire of 1862 that would bring an end to a large part of its wooden frame and its extremely valuable and lavish interior. Its reconstruction began twenty years later, when the building was turned into the General Military Archive by order of the then queen and regent of Spain, María Cristina, which it continues to house today. More recently, in the mid-20th century, a board of trustees was created to manage the use, upkeep and preservation of the Alcazar of Segovia.