#174 Alcazar of Segovia
Segovia, Castile & Len, Spain
1120 - 1258, plus early 15th century
This is NOT an official Lego site

Like many other European castles and fortresses, the Alcazar of Segovia is built atop the minor remains of a Roman fort.  Following the Umayyad conquest of much of Iberia in the 8th century, or shortly thereafter, a wooden Muslim stockade was built on the site.  The "castle of Segovia" and "Alca'ar" are first mentioned in 1120, while Urraca, daughter of King Alfonso VI, reigned over the recently freed Castile and Len.  The castle was begun to protect the adjacent Cathedral of Santa Maria, and was enhanced from 1124 to 1139, during the reign of Alfonso VII, son of Urraca and her arranged husband, Raymond of Burgundy.  The famous 'ship's prow' shape of the castle apparently occurred during the latter half of the 12th century, during the reign of King Alfonso VIII, and his wife, Eleanor of England.  Major reconstructions occurred during the reign of Alfonso X in 1258 after a major cave-in, but the most impressive part of the castle was the Tower of John II, built during the first half of the 15th century.  The Alcazar reached its peak of importance during the reigns of John II (1406-1454) and Henry IV (1454-1474).
On December 12, 1474 King Henry IV of Castile died in Madrid, and his sister Isabella immediately took refuge at the Alcazar, where she was enthroned as Queen Isabella of Castile and Len the next day.  The coronation is remembered by a wall-size painting of the event in the Alabaster Room by Muoz de Pablos.  After Isabella died in 1504, her mentally ill daughter Joanna became Queen.  The situation did not destabilize for the 12 years that her father, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, was her co-regent, but when he died in 1516, her 16 year old son, Charles, was proclaimed King of Castile and Aragon.  Charles, raised in the Netherlands, first became Carlos I of Aragon, but was soon crowned Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.  His extravagant court and increased taxation led to the War of the Communities of Castile in 1520-1.  The rebellion was crushed, and he ruled with his mother, Joanna, until 1556, when he abdicated to his son, Phillip II.  Phillip, Emperor of the Spanish Habsburgs, married Anne of Austria in 1570, and added the sharp slate spires to the Alcazar.
The royal court eventually moved back to Madrid, and for almost 200 years, the Alcazar served as as state prison.  Then in 1762 King Charles II founded the Royal College of Artillery at Segovia, which stayed there until the devastating fire of March 6, 1862 which destroyed roofs and interiors, and many of the treasures stored in the castle. It was 20 years before restoration of the castle took place, and in 1896, King Alfonso XIII handed over the Alcazar to the Ministry of War to be a war college.  In 1951 the Board of Trustees decreed that the castle should become a public museum to celebrate its triple history as royal castle, artillery school and war college.
The Alcazar from a satellite. The Patio de Armas [Gunyard]
looking east
And the west end of the
same Arms Patio.
The Small Courtyard looking
east...
...and the west view with the
Chapel wall on the right.
Here is my ground floor plan with
the best key I can produce
Here is the same plan with the
rooms and spaces which will seen
at Brickworld 2020. Green is for the
north side, and yellow for the south.
This is a nice watercolor of the
castle showing the proximity of
the Cathedral of Santa Maria.

 

Photos of the Lego Model
under construction September 2019 - June 2020

This project is my first castle collaboration.  Dear friend Terry Parrish of Champaign, Illinois, is warrior
enough to drive 55 miles each way once a week to build the Alcazar with me.  Be safe, Road Warrior! 
On September 10, 2019, the four sections of the
Alcazar are laid out.  The 11.5+ foot long model
will not fit on my building table despite both leaves
being in place.  Darling wife Judy notes the small
computer table [see L edge of this picture]
That added 19 3/4" is just
enough so that the new
castle can be built in its
actual shape!
By the seventh day there is
more form to the rocky
outcrop upon which the
Alcazar was built.
From the "prow" end of
the castle, you can
appreciate the little
computer stand which
allows in-line building!
Introducing Terry Parrish,
my collaborator on this
massive model!
Here we are building
again on September
24.  The mountain is
growing.
Here's the east (entrance) end of
the castle on the same day. Terry
has several red shirts, being a big
Ohio State Buckeye fan.
Work resumes on Oct.
17, when Judy and I
return from a meeting
in Florida.
We are working our
way up to the 26-
brick high main floor
level of the castle!
Here are two panoramas on Oct. 17 from the ENE... ...and the NW. By the next day a lot more supports
for the floors and courtyards have
been added.
Soon we'll be seeing the
floors of the main rooms.
But the columned Arms Patio
(Gunyard) is already taking shape.
Here are four photos of
progress as of October
24.  The base of the
castle is pretty much done...
...with the prow end
of the Alcazar saved
for last!
You can vaguely appreciate the main
room on the north side of the castle.
More in a few days!
The Arms Patio is essentially complete. A month has passed and I've
finally gotten the camera out
for a construction update!
The front of the castle is basically
finished except for the corner
tower.
Here is the "hallway"
created by roofing the
curtain wall on the right.
Looking down the front
of the castle.
Here is the expanded
wall walk - very unique
in my experience.
The Throne Room is taking
shape...
... as is the large Alabaster Hall
(Sala de la Galera)
The tapestries in the Royal Bedroom
are temporary, and the royal bed
will be moved.
The Kings Hall will feature a
whole range of challenges, from
walls to artwork!
The Cord Room is in front of
the royal Chapel, which will
be quite a delight.
The "prow" of the castle is
complete, though not much
of the Tower of Homage yet.
I've added an extra mounted
knight to the otherwise empty
Armory Museum.
The Clock Yard (Patio de Reloj) may or may
not feature a sundial, but otherwise will be
pretty accurate in its appearance.
The two courtyards are separ-
ated by two stairs going
different places.
The Gunyard (Patio de Armas) hasn't changed
much in the past month.
The Treasury, designed with
neither information or pictures,
is already pretty impressive.
Finally the main stair
and Constable's Room
in the donjon.  Room
updates will follow.
By December 2, the Throne
Room has lost its paper
canopy...
...and the reigning King
and Queen are receiving!
They get to enjoy large
portraits and King
Ferdinand and Queen
Isabella while they work.
On December 6 the Royal Bedroom
finally has its own tapestries.  The
Queen has rearranged the furniture,
naturally.
Here is a general view of
the castle on December 9.
Here is the Treasury on
December 12 - the second
room in the model to be
lighted.
On December 17
Terry roofs the
fascinating Armory.
By the last week of December the
Tower of John II is finally rising
above the curtain wall.
The main rooms are filling
out and getting decorated.
There is also structure to
the second story of the
Tower of Homage.
The view from the west shows
the slow but steady progress on
on the model.
Here is the Clock Yard with
chapel windows longing for
stained glass.
The Gunyard columns now support
a balcony, with railings and roof-
supporting columns.
By the last week of January
2020 the front of the Alcazar
is looking more impregnable. 
The Throne Room, Alabaster Hall, Royal Bedroom,
King's Hall and Chapel all have ceilings and are
illuminated.
The Tower of Homage and stair tower have
risen well into the second story.
Serious work is also under way
on the room above the Treasury
and the enormous donjon.
Various merchants and
nobles are gathering in the
King's Hall for discussions.
On February 2, my wife and I are about to
leave for 2 1/2 weeks in Texas, with roofing
of the citadel just underway.
The Tower of Homage even
has a third story, and the
Gunyard balcony is roofed!
By mid-March w2e are back from Texas, Covid
lockdown has begun & DBG slopes are ordered
from Indonesia to complete the huge roof...
But they do not arrive for 9 months,
another set is order from Lego.com.
The Towers of Homage and
John II are getting close to
completion.

 
By March 28 roofing continues
elsewhere:
This roof will be so tall that it needs
to be removable.
The Guard Dormitory occupying
the uppermost room in the
donjon is being designed...
...as are the Tower's decorative
elements.  We'll now move on
to the completed castle!!

 

Photos of the Lego Model
Built September 10, 2019 to June, 2020 for BrickWorld 2020 and then 2021(neither of which happened
due to the pandemic).  These photos were taken in the Decatur Area Arts Council Gallery, February 2021.
The ESE view, of the front
of the castle, which includes
about 2/3 of the donjon.
Despite the size of the Anne Lloyd Gallery,
the view from the ENE is as close as I
get to a profile of the castle. Maybe at
Brickworld Chicago 2021, I hope.
The signage shows photos
of the actual castle for
comparison.
Here's the view from the
WNW, showing the 'prow' of
the huge project.
The west view highlights the 'L' shape
of the model, with both courtyards.
The number of lighted, decorated, occupied
rooms was a real joy to design and build!
Finally the view from the south.
Now we'll move on to the many
spaces and their occupants!
The drawbridge mechanism
and a happy couple to begin!
A duel nearby - over a
lady perhaps.
The Throne Room, with canopy
and drapes very like the real ones.
Current rulers likely Carlos I
and his mother, Joanna I,
just before he became Holy
Roman Emperor.
They get to look at  their
predecessors, Ferdinand
and Isabella, every day the
royal court is in session.
The Alabaster Hall is large and
sparsely decorated, but it's a
perfect room for parties...
...if you don't mind the occasional
empty (?) suit of armor listening
to your every word.
The famous painting of Queen
Isabella's coronation is a real
attention getter!
Because its so beautiful with its
four poster bed and magnificent
tapestries, the royal bedroom...
...has been moved to align
with the other rooms on the
outer face of the castle.
The upper walls of the King's Hall
are lined with every king and
queen in Spain's history.
The Hall is where noblemen
and merchants gathered to
air their grievances...
...and (usually) support their
rulers.  It's a gorgeous room.
Here is the Cord Room, where
the priests robed, and the chapel
with its stained glass windows.
The 'slot' in the wall is the
priest's door into the
confessional [not built].
The main door into the
chapel can accessed from
the Cord Room or two
outside doors.
We wander by the
Tower of Homage,
and peek in the
museum window.
Someone has stolen two
sausages. Beware of the
cook's butcher knife!
How will eventually
appear from the huge
chunk of granite?
Oh oh. Another fellow in
trouble. Better a loaf of
bread than a butcher knife!
The perimeter if the huge
Alcazar must be checked
regularly.
Ah, the Armory Museum
in its full historical glory!
And above the Museum, the
real armory. The blades are
quite sharp, so be careful.
Further up the Tower of Homage,
a soldier relaxes after his shift.
Here are lower pair
of floors of the
stair tower.
And the upper floors.
Back outside we've arrived at the
Clock Yard, with its tiny shrine to the
Virgin, and two enterainers.
Looks like that fish
is a day or two
too old!
Plans are made for possible military
excursions or expeditions.
With a bit of a mess above
them in an unused attic.
Looks likely another fellow is ready for his
shift on the watch, and perhaps a bit of
innocent flirtation.
The ladies appear to
have other things on
their minds.
I wonder what these monks
will be pondering today?
Ahh, the Arms Patio is being
put to proper use. Ten hut!
Above them, routine (but
likely delicious) tasks are
being carried out.
Oh oh.  Several soldiers with
a bit too much time on their
hands goofing off in
the Royal Treasury.
Another fellow getting ready for
his work day. Nice painting!
And what might we be looking for? Every chance for
a bath must be
utilized!
These guards are not
fully concentrating on
their jobs...
...but way more than
this fellow.  Say
'cheese'.
High up in the Guards Quarters
in the Tower of John II.
And a view of the roof of the Tower
with its dozen classic Spanish turrets
(eight constructed).
And we're back to
the front of the
massive castle.
Hope you've enjoyed
the tour, chimneys
and all!
And I've assembled the cast of minifigs of the Alcazar of Segovia
to take a final bow, for their perseverance and patience
throughout the construction and teardown of the 70,661 element model!

 

Build Your Own

Usually I'm happy to share my plans and elevations, but the Alcazar is close to
500 feet long, the Lego model a bit over 11
feet long, and my plan and
elevations almost 5 feet long.  I cannot copy this at home, but if you think you
must have the plans anyway, contact me for cost estimates.
Where Plan & Elevations usually are...


Other Alcazar of Segovia pages:
https://www.alcazardesegovia.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alc%C3%A1zar_of_Segovia
https://www.exploring-castles.com/europe/spain/alcazar_de_segovia/
https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/10/22/the-alcazar-of-segovia-is-one-of-the-most-distinctive-castle-palaces-in-spain/

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