A while ago I was fortunate enough to visit the Church of the Vera Cruz in Segovia (Spanish Iglesia de la Vera Cruz). A church which was originally a 12 sided structure, built in 1208. Legend has it that it was a Knights Templar Church at first, now belongs to the Order of the Knights of Malta. Fantastic, interesting building. It has an adequate write up on Wiki, if you want more info. For Now though I will just put up some photos.
History debates if this small church just outside the city once house a part of the cross Jesus was crucified on and protectd by the Knights Templar. No matter what this place is really interesting and worthy of a short visit. One of our group could not help herself and she bursted into a Gregorian Choral as she claimed the acoustics were perfect - rounded, vaulted ceiling. Walkable from the Alcazar, although we took a taxi.
I first noticed this chapel while visiting the Alcazar. It is very visible from the windows there. We passed by before leaving Segovia, by driving there. There is a bus that goes to the area. However, I think a car was the most convenient way to visit it.The church was built by the Templars. Today it is owned by the Knights of Malta. This structure is mentioned in the Da Vinci Code. Some strange paintings that we saw included a Last Supper at an oval table instead of a rectangular one. The other was of an Arab praying the rosary. The architecture has a circular center with a stairwell leading to an altar at the top. Most unusual layout from the standard cross of Gothic cathedrals.
This is not your typical ornate Spanish Catholic Church. It is very unusual in its architectural style and simplicity. It's nice, quiet, though not really set up for spending extended time in contemplation and prayer. It's too bad that the "Vera Cruz" is no longer kept in this Iglesia de la Vera Cruz.
I have a keen interest in Templar history, so it was important to make a visit to the Igelsia de la Vera Cruz in Segovia. The church different from the cross-shaped ones visitor may be more familiar with, making it all the more worth the visit. It is not very large, however, inside you'll find a sort of building inside a building. A worn set of stairs leads up and into this interior structure where you'll find another room with an altar. There are chapels on the lower level of the mail building as well. Some reliquaries can be found there and some faded murals. Stop in for a few minutes and don't forget to snap some photos of this and the castle on the hill in the distance.
Away from the main part of the old city, it is a lovely little church and ever so quiet there. It was good to just sit and listen to the silence in this 13th century church.
I viewed the Iglesia de la Vera Cruz on a day-trip to Segovia as part of my 7 full-day visit to Madrid.---I have compiled extensive individual Trip Advisor 'Trip Lists' for both my day-trip to Segovia and visit to see the sights of Madrid, they are entitled respectively 'Segovia Day-Trip from Madrid Oct 2013' and 'Madrid Attractions (+ Toledo/Segovia Day Trips) : 7 Full-Day Visit Oct 2013'. Please feel free to access them via my TA Profile (by clicking my TA 'name' below the photo on the left of this review) and links in each TL. I hope that they are of interest and use to you...---This pretty church is sited to the north, just outside the walled-perimeter of the city at 'ground-level' in a solitary position on a slight rise by a main road.The shape of the building is unusual and the exterior is very pleasant to look at - see my photo attached to this review.I couldn't go inside as despite the fact that it SHOULD have been open the curator was on holiday so it was closed; as I knew beforehand I didn't walk down to it, but instead took advantage of the excellent view you can get of it from the viewpoint in front of the Alcazar.This is a good option if you can't walk to it, don't want to or (like me, especially as it was closed !) can't be bothered - my Trip List has maps/views etc showing where the necessary viewpoints are.I saved myself the disappointment of finding that it was closed, had I walked to it, by enquiring at the tourist information office located in Plaza Mayor.....
We hadn't intended to visit this, as it was a bit out of the way and we didn't have long in Segovia. However, we took the wrong path when we were walking outside the walls and ended up going outside the city and found ourselves near this church. It looked interesting, so we waited until it opened up and paid our 2€ to go inside. There's a small leaflet available to read about the history of the church and it really is the most fascinating place. We've never seen a twelve sided church before and the inside is wonderfully different to any other church we've seen. There is a two floored building inside the church, which you access by a double staircase. Opinion is divided about what this was for, but the main suggestion appears to be that it's where knights kept vigil before they were knighted. The church is now looked after by the Knights of Malta and used for their religious and other ceremonies. You get the sense that the church is stuck in time, in a very good way, as it is over 800 years old and probably hasn't changed that much. It's well worth a visit and you get a great view of the Alcazar too.
My wife and I visited the Iglesia de la Vera Cruz in Segovia in July 2013. It is a nice downhill walk to the Church. The Church was founded by the Knights of Templar in the 13th Century. The Church is inspired on the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the orgin of the Templar order. It was said that a piece of the True Coss was housed there. It is not there anymore. Folks say that it has been moved up the road to a Church in the village of Zamarramala. We walked to that Church but it was locked up. The Iglesia de la Vera Cruz is beautiful. The attendant gives you a guide which tells you what you are looking at. I wish we would have had a tour guide here. You could see a place where the piece of the Cross would have been kept. There is a tomb inside the Church. For my wife and I we loved it. It is true that you can get a good picture of the Alcazar from the Church grounds. I am glad we were able to see it.
It is a small and modest church but has a lot of history and beauty inside. It houses a relic which is said to be a piece of cross Jesus was crucified on.
This is one of the more interesting and unusual medaeval European churches that I have visited due to its 12-sided polygon shape and raised part in the middle. Well worth a visit and the associated walk down and climb back up if you have the time and physical energy. This location also provides a different and impressive view of the alcazar from below.
Its a nice walk from the center of town, not too strenuous despite the incline and stairs if you go at an easy pace. We stopped a lot along the way to take pictures of the beautiful view and buildings. The church itself is unique in shape and history.
This was my third time visiting this very special church in Segovia. The shape, the location, the history, the myths around, the inner architecture , the views of the Alcazar from there, the sepultures inside ... Everything makes this place very magical. Just step in and feel it. Don't miss it !Sooner or later I will comeback again.
The ancient, beatiful and unique church is situated in the magnificent place with unbeatable views to Alcazar. Both the church and Alcazar are lighten up at nighttime which allows you to take tremendous photos of any of it. The church is open for visitors on a typical spanish schedule: from Wednesday to Sunday twice a day - 10-13 and 16-19. Closed on Mondays all day and open on Tuesdays evenings (16-19). 2E per person. Ad if you ask me - there is no point to visit it, actually. Just cold stones... no candles, no smell of the church, no athmosphere, they didn't even put the music on. And information booklet is in Spanish only.
The Vera Cruz Church outside the city walls of Segovia was completely worth the walk. We opted to walk to the church right off the bus so that we'd not be too close to the lunch closing time. After viewing the church it was a steep but completely manageable climb up to the Alcazar through a back entrance in the city wall. The walk out edged along the wall and skirted the river past lovely village buildings. The walk back to town cut right up the edge of the "mountain" and through one of the old city gates straight to the courtyard of the Alcazar.The Vera Cruz Church is a gem of simplicity. Unlike so many basilica and cross-shaped churches the octagonal building resonates of equity.. There is a sense of deeds and good works done here ... quite intangible, but present. It is interesting that the building sits almost alone on a hill outside the city walls. Were the Templars banished there? Did the Templars set up outside the city by choice? Were the Templars invited to be a first line of defense on the main road? Inside the symbolism was no less provocative, and no more decipherable to the layperson's eye.So different from any other sight we saw in Spain, it was a pleasure to walk the extra mile to take it in first hand.