stucco walls that sing in segovia

Had the immense pleasure of visiting the Ancient town of Segovia, Spain today. Just an hour or so north of Madrid, this city is best know for its Roman aqueduct, amazing churches and a castle so picturesque that Walt Disney supposedly used it as the basis for the castle at Disneyland. What I found most magical, was the intensely ornate and varied stucco carvings that decorated most of the building facades. This technique, esgrafiado, began as a means to conceal the multiple materials that may have been used to construct buildings, as well as to add a protective layer. Often minerals or ashes are added to add a subtle, almost luminous undertone of color – especially in the glow of late afternoon sun. Still used in current buildings today, the carvings add a gloriously elegant air to each structure.

Walking the streets was like strolling through a kaleidoscope – a new pattern with each step – without any repetition. What an amazing thing it must be to live in this town and be immersed in this wonderland of design every day.