May 26th

We went to the Valley of the Fallen and Segovia today. On the way to the Valley of the Fallen we learned about the Spanish civil war and why several Spaniards refuse to go to the monument. The Civil War in Spain is looked at in a much different way than the way American’s recollect their civil war. We are more able to acknowledge the loss of both sides and place less blame on either side. This could be due to the fact that America’s civil war dates over 100 years back while the Spanish civil war is relatively recent and that the ‘winning’ side is no longer in power. The monument was absolutely beautiful and had multiple symbols such as the ten arches representing the Ten Commandments. There was also a gorgeous mosaic at the top of the cathedral that was composed of six million individual mosaic pieces.
In Segovia we were able to see the old roman aqueduct which gave Segovia running water up until the 1960s when it was decommissioned. The aqueduct had of 260 arches. We also visited the castle and learned about Queen Isabel and how she was one of the first feminists of Spain. Typically when a royal woman married she forfeited all of her power to her husband but Isabel refused and kept her power. She and her husband ruled together and equally which I found interesting. We also had lunch at a lovely cafe where we learned that in Spain you seat yourselves instead of waiting for the hostess. We looked like complete tourists but the food was delicious.

 

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